Missouri governor signs bill banning abortions at 8 weeks
A legal challenge is expected, although it’s unclear when that might occur. The measure includes exceptions for medical emergencies, such as when there is a risk of death or permanent physical injuries to “a major bodily function of the pregnant woman.”
But women who find themselves pregnant after being raped or subjected to incest will not be allowed to abort after eight weeks. Women who terminate their pregnancies cannot be prosecuted under the law.
Missouri governor defies wealthy GOP donor
When pressed last week on the rape and incest issue, Parson, a Republican, told reporters that “all life has value.” President Trump has said he supports exceptions in cases of rape and incest in abortion bans.
Missouri businessman David Humphreys, a wealthy Republican donor, had urged Parson to veto the bill. “A bill this restrictive, without the opportunity for exceptions for rape and incest, is bad public policy and bad for Missourians,” Humphreys had said in a statement Thursday.
Missouri joins Alabama in passing controversial bans
Alabama’s governor signed a bill on May 15 making performing an abortion a felony in nearly all cases. Supporters have said they hope to provoke a legal challenge that will eventually force the U.S. Supreme Court to revisit its landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion nationally.
Unlike Alabama’s near-total abortion ban, lawmakers who helped draft the Missouri bill said it’s meant to withstand court challenges instead of spark them. If the eight-week ban is struck down, the bill includes a ladder of less-restrictive time limits at 14, 18 or 20 weeks.
Missouri’s bill also includes an outright ban on abortions except in cases of medical emergencies, but that would kick in only if Supreme Court’s landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion is overturned. Kentucky, Mississippi, Ohio and Georgia also have approved bans on abortions once fetal cardiac activity can be detected, which can occur in about the sixth week of pregnancy.
Some of those laws already have been challenged in court, and similar restrictions in North Dakota and Iowa have been struck down by judges.