Missouri Governor Mike Parson signed House Bill 126, also known as the “Missouri Stands for the Unborn Act,” into law Friday, making it illegal for any pregnant individual in the state to have access to an abortion after eight weeks, unless it is a medical emergency. There are no exceptions for cases of rape or incest.
According to HB 126, if there is no fetal heartbeat detected at the time the woman is seeking an abortion, they may proceed within 96 hours, but only after being presented with the following information:
“printed materials provided by the department, which describe the probable anatomical and physiological characteristics of the unborn child at two-week gestational increments from conception to full term, including color photographs or images of the developing unborn child at two-week gestational increments… as well as the immediate and long-term medical risks commonly associated with each abortion method including, but not limited to, infection, hemorrhage, cervical tear or uterine perforation, harm to subsequent pregnancies or the ability to carry a subsequent child to term, and the possible adverse psychological effects associated with an abortion;”
In addition, HB 126 includes an emergency clause where the parent or guardian of a minor seeking an abortion is to be given written notice, and must consent for the abortion to be performed on the minor.
In a statement issued from the Governor’s Office at the signing, Parson said that, “By signing this bill today, we are sending a strong signal to the nation that, in Missouri, we stand for life, protect women’s health, and advocate for the unborn. All life has value and is worth protecting.”
The statement also encourages individuals to “get involved in efforts to support life in their communities” followed by a list of suggested ‘efforts’ which includes becoming involved with a “faith community to provide the necessary support to help individual to choose life.”
Missouri HB 126 makes it the eighth state to pass a “heartbeat” abortion bill in 2019.