Protesters march through the halls of the Missouri Capitol outside the House chamber on Friday, May 17, 2019, in Jefferson City, Missouri, in opposition to legislation prohibiting abortions at eight weeks of pregnancy.
The legislation needs only a final vote in the House, which already passed an earlier version, for Missouri to join a growing group of Midwestern and Southern states attempting to sharply limit abortions. North Dakota and Iowa also have six-week abortion bans, according to BuzzFeed. "He opposes abortion except in the instance of rape, incest, or the life of the mother in is danger", McConnell's spokesman, Doug Andres, said in a statement on Thursday. "This is the type of legislation that is created to withstand a challenge and to actually save lives in our state". Andrew Koenig described it on Thursday as "one of the strongest" abortion bills yet passed in the U.S.
Former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton tweeted Wednesday that the "abortion bans in Alabama, Georgia, Ohio, Kentucky, and MS are appalling attacks on women's lives and fundamental freedoms". For people without disposable funds to take a trip to a location that allows safe and legal abortion, it is a much more unsafe reality. The sponsors of this bill believe that it is time, once again, for the U.S. Supreme Court to revisit this important matter, and they believe this act may bring about the best opportunity for this to occur.
It also has thrust the emotional abortion debate back into the forefront of national politics in the run-up to the 2020 USA presidential election, and at a time when rates of abortion have sharply declined. However, the ruling was made by a narrow margin and the case is due to be reviewed later this year.
In addition to having no exceptions for rape or incest, the bill also bans all abortions because of race, sex or a diagnosis of Down syndrome.
The momentum has picked up since Republican President Donald Trump appointed two justices to the nine-member Supreme Court in the past two years.
Read the full text of Missouri Bill HB 126 HERE. He wanted a fetal heartbeat bill, which would have been slightly more restrictive, and said later that instead of calling it the "Missouri Stands for the Unborn Act", the "Missouri Stands for the Unborn Act Sort of Kind Of", would be more accurate.
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Democrats and abortion rights advocates criticised the Alabama bill as a slap in the face to women voters.
Some Republicans pushing for abortion restrictions acknowledge they are deliberately doing so to instigate court challenges that will ultimately force the Supreme Court to reconsider Roe v. Wade. Now, they hope, their decades of effort to reshape the high court are approaching fruition.
That could have a profound impact on United States politics heading into the 2020 elections. "The statistic is that one in four women will have an abortion before age 45", she said to the camera last week. Instead of pondering the selection of judicial nominees - a sometimes abstract concept - candidates for public office will be pressed for their views on outright prohibition.
This week the state of Alabama enacted one of the strictest anti-abortion measures in US history.
Until now, the abortion issue has done more to motivate and engage evangelical voters than it has those on the left.
The Guttmacher Institute, which campaigns for reproductive rights, says none of these bans are yet in effect, but their introduction is part of the same strategy to get the cases heard by the Supreme Court, it says.