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MO Gov Prepares to Sign Restrictive Abortion Bill

A ban on abortions after eight weeks will go into effect as soon as Missouri Gov. Mike Parson signs it. (trac1/Adobe Stock)
A ban on abortions after eight weeks will go into effect as soon as Missouri Gov. Mike Parson signs it. (trac1/Adobe Stock)
May 22, 2019

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Amid protests in the state and nationwide, Gov. Mike Parson said he could sign Missouri's restrictive abortion ban as early as this week.

House Bill 126 would ban ban abortions after eight weeks. It joins laws in other states that have rolled back access to the procedure almost completely this year.

An emergency clause in the Missouri bill means it would go into effect as soon as Parson signs it. It does not include exceptions for rape or incest, only medical emergencies.

M'Evie Mead, director of policy and organizing for Planned Parenthood Advocates in Missouri, said state lawmakers are in a political race to get Roe v. Wade overturned at the U.S. Supreme Court – but this should be considered a health-care issue first.

"When someone is facing an unintended pregnancy and they're thinking about their health-care options, politicians have gone in and eliminated a safe, legal, common health-care option for Missourians," Mead asserted.

On Tuesday, protesters rallied against these restrictive bills across the country. According to Mead, protesters have been rallying in Missouri since the bill passed last week, and will continue to call on the governor to veto it.

The bill would enact a near-total ban on abortions if the Supreme Court overturns Roe. Doctors who violate the new measure face up to 15 years in prison.

Mead also noted that people with the biggest barriers to health-care access will be the ones most affected by this bill.

"Whenever restrictions are placed on health care, it is those who face already the most health-care disparities – people of color, low-income people, people in rural areas of the state that are already having difficulty accessing health care – will be harmed the most by this ban," she said.

The bill also would ban abortions based on sex, race or genetic anomaly. But Mead is convinced this language actually does more to heighten racist and 'ableist' rhetoric on abortion, playing into stereotypes and stigmatizing these communities.

Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - MO