- A bill to criminalize abortions after the detection of a fetal heartbeat moved to the Missouri Senate floor Wednesday.
- The bill already passed a vote in the Missouri House.
- State lawmakers, including Governor Mike Parson, shared their thoughts on the issue.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo.– House Bill 126, sometimes referred to as “The Heartbeat Bill”, is closer than ever to becoming Missouri law.
This comes after Alabama lawmakers passed one of the most restrictive abortion bills in the country yesterday – banning abortions entirely, except in cases where the mother or the fetus’ life is put at risk by carrying to term.
The Missouri “Heartbeat Bill” would make it illegal to have an abortion after six weeks, following conception.
If passed, HB 126 would criminalize abortion except in cases of a medical emergency.
The bill’s summary reads: “…anyone who knowingly performs or induces an abortion of an unborn child in violation of these provisions, except in the case of a medical emergency, is guilty of a class B felony and is subject to suspension of his or her professional license.”
“…It’s a God-given right to live. I truly believe that. And I’m not afraid to say that in front of anyone.”
-Governor Mike Parson, (R) Missouri
On Wednesday, Missouri’s state Senate geared up for debate, though the process was delayed by a Democrat filibuster.
“Before the bill has even come forward, they started filibustering because they knew that the bill was coming up today,” State Senator Eric Burlison (R-District 20) told reporter Madison Hever Wednesday. “The democrats are filibustering before we even get to the bill.”
In the meantime, state lawmakers are talking with Ozarks First.
“I personally believe that life begins at conception,” said Burlison. “But particularly what this bill is addressing is that after the point that a heartbeat is detected, then it would be illegal to kill that child.”
When we heard from State Representative Crystal Quade, a Democrat, she had already seen the bill pass a house vote.
“I voted no and am vehemently against the bill for a multitude of reasons,” she said Wednesday.
“There are no exceptions for rape and incest in this bill. Historically when abortion restrictions have been in place in the state of Missouri, there has always been an exception for rape and incest.”
Quade says in 2017, 6,000 children reported sexual abuse in Missouri.
“Without those exceptions in this bill, we’re looking at victims who are going to be revictimized again by not having control over what happens to their body next,” she adds.
However, Burlison says it’s not for the mother to decide.
“The child shouldn’t be punished because they were brought into the world by a horrific act,” he said.
Quade says this bill could be an act to get the U.S. Supreme Court, with two of President Trump’s appointees now sitting on the bench, to overturn Roe V. Wade.
“We’re seeing similar bills across the entire country right now,” said Quade.
State Senators have until Friday at 6 p.m. to pass the bill.
If the bill passes, Missouri will join seven states in the U.S. that also have passed strict anti-abortion bills.
If the Senate does not vote on the bill, there could be a special session. If that doesn’t happen, pro-life Republicans will have to wait until the next session to get the legislation back on the table.
Governor Mike Parson announced Wednesday that he plans on going Facebook Live with his thoughts on the controversial legislation.
A recording of his statements is below:
Stay with Ozarks First for updates to this story.