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Missouri lawmakers pass bill banning abortions at eight weeks
© WikiMedia (James McNellis)
Missouri lawmakers pass bill banning abortions at eight weeks

The Missouri House on Friday passed a bill banning abortion at eight weeks gestation with an exception only for medical emergencies.

HB 126, referred to as “Missouri Stands with the Unborn,” declares that Missouri is a “‘sanctuary of life” that protects “pregnant women and their unborn children.” The bill would make it a class B felony to perform or induce an abortion upon a pregnant person, and may result in the loss of a professional license, except in cases of medical emergencies. A doctor could face five to 15 years in prison if they were to perform an abortion after eight weeks. However, women who receive abortions would not be criminally penalized. Additionally, if the US Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, the bill would trigger a statewide abortion ban.

The legislation further mandates reporting requirements, in which abortion reports would need to include certification that the attending physician has no knowledge that the pregnant person is seeking the abortion “due to the sex or race of the fetus, or a diagnosis indicating the fetus may have down syndrome.” 

Missouri’s Republican-led Senate passed the bill by a vote of 24-10 on Thursday. The House passed the bill by a vote of 110 to 44.

If the courts block the eight-week ban, the bill has built in safeguards that would prohibit abortions at 14, 18, 0r 20 weeks of pregnancy. Governor Mike Parson (R) is expected to sign the bill.