Missouri Governor Signs Bill To Ban Abortion After 8 Weeks With No Exception For Rape Or Incest

Lawmakers claim their legislation does not have the goal of overturning Roe v. Wade.

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| May 24 2019,

9:56 pm

Missouri joined the growing list of states in recent weeks to pass a ban on abortion. 

The new law will prohibit the procedure after eight weeks, with no exception for rape or incest. Governor of Missouri Mike Parson signed the bill into law on Friday. 

The legislation, House Bill 126, only allows the procedure after eight weeks in cases that meet the definition of a medical emergency. In the case of the bill, a medical emergency will be defined as:

"[A matter which] so complicates the medical condition of a pregnant woman as to necessitate the immediate abortion of her pregnancy to avert the death of the pregnant woman or for which a delay will create a serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment."

Unlike some abortion bans in other states, Missouri lawmakers claim they are not passing the bill in order to force an overturn of Roe v. Wade (1973), but to make a law that would hold up in the courts as they are now.

"We do not want to run through the courts and try to overturn Roe v. Wade like some of the legislators in other states, like Alabama. We just want to save as many lives as we can while withstanding judicial challenges," Missouri Rep. Nick Schroer, a Republican sponsor of the bill, told NPR. "We want to get as close to the line as possible on what previous judges have thrown out."

The debate around the bill caught national attention after U.S. Representative Barry Hovis (R-MO), a former police officer, shared his experience investigating rape cases to relay his belief that Democrats were blowing the exception out of proportion.



"Most of my rapes were not the gentlemen jumping out of the bushes that nobody had ever met. That was one or two times out of a hundred," he said. "Most of them were date rapes or consensual rapes, which were all terrible."

Hovis later apologized for his comments, alleging he misspoke.

The Missouri law would make it that any person who performs an abortion after eight weeks of pregnancy could be punished with up to 15 years in prison. Women would not be jailed for having the procedure.