Missouri Gov. Michael Parson signed legislation on Friday banning abortions at eight weeks of pregnancy, the latest in a series of states enacting restrictive abortion policies.
Under the law that comes into force Aug. 28, doctors who violate the eight-week cutoff could face five to 15 years in prison.
“By signing this bill today, we are sending a strong signal to the nation that, in Missouri, we stand for life, protect women’s health, and advocate for the unborn,” Parson said in a Friday statement. “All life has value and is worth protecting.”
Under the new law, doctors who perform an abortion after the eight-week cutoff could face five to 15 years in prison. Women who receive abortions would not be criminally penalized and the bill does make exceptions for medical emergencies. The new law, however, does not make an exception for rape or incest victims.
Of course, Planned Parenthood is opposed to the new law.
Parson “and his counterparts in Alabama, Ohio, Mississippi, and Georgia are showing the American people what it looks like to be out of touch with science and reality. We are in the fight of our lives and we will not back down,” Leana Wen, the president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund tweeted on Friday.
The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Nicholas B. Schroer, has said that the purpose of the bill wasn’t to provoke court challenges.
“While others are zeroing in on ways to overturn Roe v. Wade and navigate the courts as quickly as possible, that is not our goal,” he said. “However, if and when that fight comes we will be fully ready.”
If the eight-week ban is challenged in court and blocked, the bill has built-in concessions of less-restrictive time limits that would prohibit abortions at 14, 18 or 20 weeks or pregnancy.
“This legislation has one goal, and that is to save lives … to withstand judicial challenges and not cause them,” Schroer said.
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