Missouri Senate passes bill to ban abortions at eight weeks

Missouri Senate passes bill to ban abortions at eight weeks
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The Republican-led Missouri Senate early Thursday morning passed a bill to ban abortions at eight weeks of pregnancy.

State senators passed the bill on a 24-10 vote, The Associated Press reported. It must now be approved by the GOP-controlled state House before Friday’s deadline to pass bills.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson (R) has voiced support for the legislation, saying Wednesday that Missouri is  “one of the strongest pro-life states in the country.”

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The bill would only allow the procedure to be performed in cases of medical emergencies, not rape or incest, the AP noted.

The Missouri Senate passed the legislation hours after Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R) signed a law banning abortion in almost all cases.

The new law in Alabama, which is now the nation’s most restrictive, prohibits abortion in nearly all cases, including rape or incest.

Physicians who perform abortions in Alabama could face felony charges and be punished by up to 99 years in prison.

Ivey acknowledged that the ban is unenforceable, but Alabama lawmakers said they hoped the bill would trigger a legal challenge to the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling in Roe v. Wade that legalized abortion nationwide.

Kentucky, Mississippi, Ohio and Georgia have all approved bans on abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected, which can occur as early as the sixth week of pregnancy and before many women know they are pregnant.