Missouri Senate Joins GOP Anti-Abortion Wave with 8-Week Ban

Noah Feldman ‘Heartbeat’ abortion bans are going nowhere before 2020

The Missouri bill will still have to go through the state House and be signed by the governor. He rallied with supporters of it Wednesday, declaring: "It's a God-given right to live ... and that's why it's important for this legislation to get done". However, doctors who perform abortions could serve 5 to 15 years in prison if convicted.

A woman who has an abortion would not be held criminally liable.

Republican lawmakers in Alabama, Missouri and Georgia clearly do not agree. It still requires another vote of approval in the state's GOP-led House of Representatives.

Some Missouri Senate Democrats spoke out against what has been called an "extreme" bill.

Former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders tweeted on Wednesday that abortion is a "constitutional right", saying "the attack on women's rights is happening in Alabama, Georgia and across the country, and we must fight it everywhere".

The Midwestern state joins Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, Ohio, and Georgia in approving 'heartbeat bills.' Banning abortion from around six weeks (before many people even know they are pregnant).

The renewed push to overturn or roll back that 1973 decision comes after abortion foes were emboldened by President Donald Trump's appointment of two new Supreme Court justices, giving conservatives a solid majority on the high court. Kentucky, Mississippi and OH (like Georgia), have passed bills banning abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected.

MS and Kentucky have both passed similar laws, both of which are being challenged in court and have not yet gone into effect.

Missouri is the latest state to pass an extreme anti-abortion bill, that will ban abortion in nearly all cases after eight weeks.

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Senators approved the legislation by 24 votes to 10 in the early hours of Thursday morning (16 May) only hours before the Friday deadline.

Alabama's law has been most newsworthy not only for its potential intention to challenge Roe v. Wade, but for its extreme restrictions that do not make exceptions for rape and incest. Studies since then have found that some babies born as soon as 22 weeks have survived.

The Alabama abortion ban was designed as a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade in the hope that the five Republican-appointed justices who have not been reticent to overturn long-standing precedents would take aim at the abortion ruling as well. "This is the type of legislation that is created to withstand a challenge and to actually save lives in our state".

A total of 3,903 abortions were carried out in Missouri in 2017, the last full year for which the state Department of Health and Senior Services has statistics online.

Of those, 1,673 occurred at under nine weeks and 119 occurred at 20 weeks or later.

Republicans and Democrats worked for hours to reach a compromise on the bill, which included an expansion of tax credits for donations to pregnancy resource centers, and waters down other provisions. If enacted and allowed to take effect, it would effectively ban abortion at around six-to-eight weeks.

Still, some lawmakers on both sides of the debate walked away unhappy.

The Massachusetts Citizens for Life Alliance, an anti-abortion rights advocacy group, notes on its website that the state constitution would have to be amended to change this: "Abortion statutes and regulations in Massachusetts are all predicated upon the state constitution, which unfortunately, views the right to access as a means through which public funding is guaranteed".

An amendment that would have allowed for exceptions for rape and incest was rejected by a vote of 21 to 11.

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