Lawmakers in Missouri sent a sweeping anti-abortion package to the governor on Friday, emboldened by other GOP states that passed extreme measures in recent days.
Missouri’s Republican-controlled House approved the bill in a 110-44 vote, and sent it to Gov. Mike Parson (R). Parson is likely to sign it, as he has said he wants to make the state “one of the strongest pro-life states in the country.”
The package would outlaw abortion after the eighth week of pregnancy, providing an exception only for medical emergencies. There are no exceptions for rape or incest. Doctors who violate the law could face five to 15 years in prison and have their licenses suspended. If the eight-week ban is declared unconstitutional, lawmakers included back-up plans in the bill — banning abortion at 14, 18, and 20 weeks.
The package also includes a so-called trigger ban. Should Roe v. Wade be overturned, the state would automatically outlaw all abortions. Additionally, the bill requires minors to get parental consent before having an abortion, more reporting requirements for physicians, and gives tax-credits for donations to centers who have a history of misleading patients.
The vote comes just two days after Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R) signed a near-total abortion ban into law, making exceptions only for the health of the pregnant person. Last week, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) signed a six-week abortion ban into law. Neither laws are yet in effect. But lawmakers passing these bills hope they’re used to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Meanwhile, the constant passage of anti-abortion bills has confused patients nationwide. Various clinics told ThinkProgress that patients in Alabama and Georgia are calling to ask if abortion is still legal. Abortion is still legal everywhere in the country, though state laws differ on their restrictions.
“In an effort to intentionally instill confusion and panic in the communities I provide health care for across the state, Missouri has joined Ohio, Georgia, and Alabama on the growing list of states aiming to ban abortion. Let me be clear: you can still get an abortion in the state of Missouri. Clinics are still open, for now,” said Dr. Colleen McNicholas, an OB/GYN in Missouri and fellow with Physicians for Reproductive Health, in a statement to ThinkProgress.
“Politicians must stop inserting themselves in the patient-provider relationship and allow patients a barrier-free path to make medical decisions about their bodies. I trust my patients to make these decisions for themselves, and Missouri’s leadership should, too,” she added.