Missouri’s governor got just what he asked for: The state’s House members on Friday passed and sent to him for his signature a bill that would become probably the second-most restrictive abortion law in the nation, banning the procedure after eight weeks of pregnancy, with no exceptions for rape or incest.
Missouri’s Senate gave its OK to the bill Thursday — the same day the governor of Alabama signed into law the nation’s most restrictive abortion legislation, banning the procedure after just six weeks of pregnancy.
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Missouri Gov. Mike Parson cheered the bill’s passage in his state, according to CNN, telling reporters Friday that he thinks Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing abortions in the nation, should be overturned.
As CNN detailed, Parson
… told reporters Friday that he would sign the bill, calling it “just a matter of when we get all the bills in.”
When asked whether he was comfortable with the bill’s lack of exemptions for rape and incest, he said that he would sign the bill as is because “I’m the governor of the state of Missouri and that’s what I do.”
“I believe in the pro-life side of the issue,” he added.
Parson said that the legislation meets the standard of “what I believe to be constitutional for our state.” He anticipated that it would withstand a court challenge.
Unlike Alabama’s legislation that has doctors getting up to 99 years in prison for performing abortions, Missouri’s bill calls for up to a mere 15 years in prison for abortion providers. Missouri also would not go after women seeking the procedure.
Planned Parenthood said it was already planning to fight the law in court, and said Missouri clinics would stay open, at least until the law went into effect.
However, the bill’s passage generated passions on both sides of the debate. As the bill passed the Missouri House 110-44, onlookers in the galley shed tears — some in disgust, some in elation, the Kansas City Star reports.
“We are a pro-life state and we are here to prove it,” state Rep. Kathy Swan, R-Cape Girardeau, said, according to the Star.
“I will vote yes on this bill and that vote will follow me for the rest of my life,” House Speaker Elijah Haahr said, choking back tears. “And it will be the proudest vote I have ever taken.”
Opponents said the bill would only mean dangerous and deadly abortion procedures moving forward.
“Bleach. Acid. Bitter concoction. Knitting needles. Bicycle spokes. Ballpoint pens. Jumping from the top of the stairs or roof — these are ways women around the world who don’t have access to legal abortion perform their own,” state Rep. Sarah Unsicker, D-Webster Groves, said, the Star reports. “Abortion is a health care issue.”