Missouri has become the next Republican-led state to impose the strict anti-abortion law.
Missouri House approved of the bill after already clearing the state Senate, and is now on its way to the desk of Republican Gov. Mike Parson, who confirmed he would sign it into law. The goal is to get 1973’s Roe v. Wade overturned, which made abortion legal in the U.S.
According to CNN, Bill “HB 126” prohibits abortion after eight weeks of pregnancy — once a heartbeat is detected — although it’s widely known that many women often don’t realize they’re pregnant in that time frame. The bill does have exceptions for what it defines as medical emergencies, such as when the mother’s life is at risk or facing serious permanent injury. However, the bill does not make exceptions for pregnancies that are the result of rape or incest.
When asked whether he was comfortable with the bill’s lack of exemptions for rape and incest, Missouri Governor Mike Parson told reporters 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.” He added, “I believe in the pro-life side of the issue.”
David Eisenberg, medical director at Planned Parenthood of Southwest Missouri, said that he knows of more than one entity “that is already planning a legal challenge” against the legislation but could not give specifics. “There will be many legal challenges to prevent it from being enforced, and we will fight as long and hard as we can to ensure that Missourians will have access to basic health care, including abortions,” he said.
Democrat Senator Karla May accused her colleagues of “hypocrisy” for wanting to “protect the child in the womb” while letting Missourians struggle with inadequate healthcare and an unlivable wage. She asked, “If I can’t feed what’s in the womb while it’s in the womb, how am I going to be able to feed it when it comes out of the womb?” Continuing, “Those are questions that we gotta be talking about. That’s the hypocrisy of it all.”