Missouri’s state House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a sweeping pro-life bill that is being labeled the “strongest in the nation” on Wednesday, sending it to the Missouri state Senate with a vote of 117-39.
House Bill 126, commonly referred to as the “Missouri Stands for the Unborn Act,” is comprehensive in restricting abortions in the state. If passed, abortion would be criminalized in as many instances as possible under current law. The bill reads:
Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, no abortion shall be performed or induced upon a woman, except in cases of medical emergency. 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 by his or her professional licensing board.
The bill acknowledges that all unborn humans have a natural right to life. It specifically prohibits selective abortions, abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, and pain-capable abortions. Language also clarifies that women who undergo prohibited abortions will not be prosecuted.
— Elijah Haahr (@elijahhaahr) February 26, 2019
Missouri Governor Mike Parson (R) has thrown his support behind the bill, stating:
I’m honored to lead a state with so many people committed to standing up for those without a voice…I applaud the bipartisan efforts of the Missouri House of Representatives for choosing to take a bold stand to protect women’s health and the right to life.
However, the bill will have to make it through the Missouri Senate before it reaches Gov. Parson’s desk, and that is already shaping up to be a hard fight. While Republicans have advantageous numbers, holding a majority of 24-10, Senate Democrats have committed to blocking the bill through all means possible.
The main tool Democrats will have to block this bill in the Senate is the filibuster. When asked if they planned to use this method in an interview earlier this month, Senator Jamilah Nasheed (D-St. Louis) responded, “Oh hell yeah.”
Even with a hard battle looming in the Senate, the pro-life movement just took one giant step forward in Missouri, and unborn children in the state are now much closer to having their lives protected.
Photo credit: Anna Levinzon via Flickr, CC BY 2.0