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Differing Opinions on Missouri's Abortion Ban

Members of Different Organizations Share Thoughts

SPRINGFIELD -- By the end of the week, Missouri could be the 14th state with some sort of abortion ban set to become law.

Missouri is on track to be the 14th state to pass some version of the "Heartbeat Bill" in this legislative session.

Friday is the final day of the session in Jefferson City. The Missouri Bill passed the Senate Thursday, and is expected to clear the house to go to Governor Parsons' desk.

Parson has expressed his oppostion to abortions, so he's expected to sign it.

The Executive Director at Pregnancy Care Center is Lisa McIntyre. She says for those facing unplanned pregnancies, they offer emotional support and medical services, but they are not an organization that supports abortion.

"We are a life-affirming organization so we do not refer for, nor do we perform abortions. We do have medical information regarding the medical procedures and the risks and that kind of thing. We also have many staff and volunteers who are post-abortive," says McIntire.   

McIntire says no matter what happens in Jefferson City, the bill won't change what they do or how operate.

"It has similarities to other states, and differences to other states, but definitely trying to take another step to protecting those pre-born lives," says McIntire.

Dee Ogilvy is the Co-Founder for the Southwest Missouri Chapter of the National Organization for Women. She is pro-choice, and she thinks this has turned more about politics than healthcare.

"So we know a lot of state are pressing this through right now because they feel like the supreme court is going to vote to overturn Roe v. Wade," says Ogilvy. "This is not fair to women, plain and simple. This is a power struggle between government and womens' rights to make their own choice."

Ogilvy believes a tough medical decision like abortion should not be up to lawmakers.

"A women and her doctor, and if she has a partner, need to be the people that make the choice as to her medical care, not legislaters," says Ogilvy. 

McIntire says they try to be sensitive to all parties involved. 

"It's not mother or baby. It's mother and baby and father," McIntire says. Rather than offering references on abortions, Pregnancy Care Center instead works with families on how to manage things in the event of an unplanned pregnancy.

Missouri's abortion makes an exception for abortions in medical emergencies, but it does not make an exception for victims of rape or incest. Ogilvy calls this provision heartbreaking.

"Say you are the dad of a 13-year-old girl and she was molested somewhere and was pregnant. Now you're going to re-traumatize that girl by making her have a baby?" Ogilvy says.

While McIntire and many Republican lawmakers think that an abortion is not the answer to those issues, Ogilvy believes this bill will not stop abortions. She thinks it will only make them more dangerous, and cause people to attempt self-inflicted miscarraiges.

"What we are asking for is safe, legal, clean procedures by a medical facility. Not someone who just googles it and says 'Well, we can just do this on our own.' That is not safe," says Ogilvy. 

Here is an overview of Missouri's abortion ban: 

  • Bans abortions after 8-weeks, around the time when the fetal heartbeat is detected.
  • It does not have exceptions for rape or incest, but does have one for medical emergencies. 
  • Doctors who perform abortions could face up to 15 years in prison.

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