Not content with watching Alabama get all the attention, Missouri is now just a couple short steps away from instituting a heinous abortion ban of its own.
The state Senate passed House Bill 126 by a margin of 24–10 on Wednesday, with the vote hewing to the Republican-dominated chamber’s party lines, according to the Kansas City Star. The bill will return to the House for a final vote (they already approved the legislation in February) before heading to the desk of Gov. Mike Parson. The Republican governor made clear he intends to sign H.B. 126, posting on social media yesterday that it was “time to make Missouri the most Pro-Life state in the country!”
Missouri currently only has one clinic in the entire state that still provides abortions—down from five in 2008—as the result of the state implementing a requirement last year that abortion providers be located within 15 minutes of a hospital.
The bill’s specifics are similar to those recently passed in Georgia and Alabama, banning all abortions after eight weeks of pregnancy, without exceptions for cases of rape or incest. Any doctors that do not comply with the law could face a prison sentence of up to 15 years. Additionally, the bill contains a trigger provision to ban all abortions if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.
Republican state Sen. Bob Onder, who complained at the end of the evening that the bill did not go far enough, offered the following reasoning when asked why the GOP did not include a clause for victims of rape or incest.
“We believe the second violent act does not fix a violent act,” Onder told the Star. “We don’t believe in the death penalty for the crime of the father of the baby.”
On the other side of the aisle, the Star reported that, after hours of negotiations among party leaders, Democrats ultimately allowed the bill on the floor, choosing not to filibuster the horrific ban in exchange for minor changes, such as pushing the two-parent consent clause back to the third trimester in cases of “medical emergency.” State Sen. Jill Schupp, one of the lead negotiators for the Democrats, said that while her party detested the bill, it didn’t make sense to combat the inevitable vote.
“The truth is there are 10 of us and 24 of them and our numbers matter,” Schupp said, per Kansas City paper. “The only way we are going to stop terrible legislation like this is to elect more Democrats.”