Missouri lawmakers approve bill banning abortions at 8 weeks

Missouri lawmakers approve bill banning abortions at 8 weeks
© Stefani Reynolds

The Missouri state House on Friday voted overwhelmingly for a bill banning abortions in the state after eight weeks.

The Republican-led legislature passed the bill by a 110-44 vote. The bill already sailed through the state’s Republican-controlled Senate on Thursday in a 24-10 vote.

It now heads to the desk of Gov. Mike Parson (R), who is expected to sign it into law.

The governor has said the law would make Missouri “one of the strongest pro-life states in the country.”

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The measure's passage comes as a number of Republican-led state legislatures have moved to pass restrictive abortion measures.

Earlier this week, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R) signed off on a bill that would ban nearly all abortions in the state, including in cases of rape or incest, if enacted. Under the measure, doctors face up to a maximum punishment of 99 years for performing the procedures.

The Republican governors in Ohio and Georgia have also passed similar measures in their states seeking to ban abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detectable, which typically occurs at six weeks into a pregnancy, before many women know they're pregnant.

The measures have reignited a national debate over abortion rights and have set in motion a number of legal challenges.

Updated at 1:41 p.m.