Missouri set to become the latest state with restrictive abortion ban
On Friday, Missouri became the latest state to pass sweeping abortion restrictions, including a ban starting at the eight-week mark, when the embryo is about as big as a raspberry. The Republican-led Senate and Republican-led House of Representatives passed the bill, which is now awaiting signing by the Republican Gov. Mike Parson to become law.
Like the Alabama bill passed two days earlier, the Missouri bill has an exemption for medical emergencies, where the woman's health is at risk. However, there are exemptions for cases of rape or incest.
Alabama and Georgia's so-called "heartbeat" bills ban abortions after the detection of a fetal heartbeat, which happens about at the six-week mark, when the embryo is the size of a pea and many women do not even know they are pregnant yet.
Alabama lawmakers, including Governor Kay Ivey, admitted the blatantly unconstitutional bill was drafted in an effort to have it challenged, and lead to the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade. The 1973 landmark decision ruled that an embryo/fetus is not a person and the Constitution's "right to privacy" gives women the right to have an abortion if they choose. As a result, states may not place an "undue burden" on women seeking abortions.
Compared to Alabama, the Missouri bill, HB 126, has a few unique stipulations, like banning abortions on the basis of race, sex or a diagnosis of Down Syndrome. In addition, it changes the state’s parental notification requirements, requiring minors to notify both parents, instead of just getting written consent from one parent. There is also a "trigger" function, which automatically makes abortion illegal in Missouri, if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.