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Missouri’s Republican governor, Mike Parson, has been supportive of restricting abortions in the state. Charlie Riedel/AP hide caption
Missouri’s Senate has passed a bill that would ban abortions at eight weeks of pregnancy or later, except in cases of medical emergency. There are no exceptions for rape or incest.
It’s the latest in a series of sweeping abortion restrictions passed by Republican-controlled state Legislatures aimed at pushing abortion challenges to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The measure, which saw a series of changes before passage, will now return to the state House. If approved there, it would head to the desk of Republican Gov. Mike Parson.
“Thanks to the leaders in the House and Senate, we have the opportunity to be one of the strongest pro-life states in the country,” Parson said on Wednesday.
The bill passed the Senate early Thursday morning in a 24-to-10 vote, as NPR member station St. Louis Public Radio reported.
The text states that performing abortions in violation of the measure would be considered a felony. The legislation states that “any person who knowingly performs or induces an abortion of an unborn child in violation of this subsection shall be guilty of a class B felony, as well as subject to suspension or revocation of his or her professional license.” Women who receive abortions would not be prosecuted.
In addition to having no exceptions for rape or incest, the bill also bans all abortions because of race, sex or a diagnosis of Down syndrome.
As St. Louis Public Radio reported, Democrats succeeded in changing a provision that would have required in most cases that the second parent be notified before a minor has an abortion. “Now, that second-parent notification only applies to the ‘parent of a minor who has been awarded joint legal custody or joint physical custody’ by a court,” the member station writes.
Missouri Senate Democrats are speaking out against what some of them have called an “extreme” bill.
“This language four years ago would be unthinkable. But elections have consequences,” Sen. Lauren Arthur said, according to the member station. “And with new Supreme Court justices, there is a renewed attempt to overturn Roe v. Wade. And with that, there is a push in this Legislature to pass what I would characterize as very extreme legislation.”
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sources: Business news from npr.org