Missouri Lawmakers Pass Bill Banning Abortions at Eight Weeks of Pregnancy

The Missouri House has passed a bill banning abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected—about eight weeks into the pregnancy—before many women know they are pregnant. The bill, which was passed by the state Senate on Thursday, will now move on to the desk of Republican Governor Mike Parson, who is expected to sign it into law. “Until the day that we no longer have abortions in this country, I will never waver in the fight for life,” Parson said this week at a gathering of pro-life supporters. The bill follows a series of similar anti-abortion bills that have been passed in other U.S. states, most recently in Alabama and Georgia. Missouri would become the fifth state this year to pass a “heartbeat bill” policy. The law does not make exceptions for cases of rape or incest. The only exception is when a mother’s life is at risk. Women who seek abortions will not be prosecuted, but doctors who perform abortions can be prosecuted under the law and could receive prison sentences of five to 15 years.