Sunday, 16 June, 2019

Missouri's Republican-led Legislature passes 8-week abortion ban

Rihanna Enlarge Image Rihanna Getty Images
Patty Aguilar | 20 May, 2019, 10:24

Abortion rights groups are relying on the Supreme Court's respect for precedent and say their main focus is on getting lower courts to stop laws such as those passed in Alabama and Georgia.

Missouri's House voted 110-44 in favor of the legislation. Kamala Harris of California and Cory Booker of New Jersey - missed a Senate confirmation vote on Thursday that installed Wendy Vitter on the federal bench.

Supporters say the Alabama bill is meant to conflict with the 1973 Roe v Wade decision, that legalised abortion nationally in the United States, in hopes of sparking a court case that might prompt the current panel of more conservative justices to revisit abortion rights.

The Missouri bill, HB 126, would also change the state's parental notification requirements so that rather than needing written consent from one parent in order for a minor to have an abortion, both parents would need to be notified.

The issue of abortion has been thrust into the national dialogue after a series of states controlled by Republicans began passing legislation to enact hardline bans.

Women from different walks of life have embraced the campaign, sharing the reasons and experiences associated with their abortion.

Last week, Georgia banned abortions past the six week mark, when the embryo is about the size of a sweet pea.

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The day before Alabama executed a murderer by lethal injection, the state's governor declared "every life is precious" and signed a draconian abortion ban. What can we do to ensure that fewer unmarried pregnant women - the youngest ones, especially - have to resort to abortion?

"What's been challenging about this (legislative) session is having to fight for women on all fronts", said Michelle Erenberg, the executive director for LIFT Louisiana, an advocacy organization supporting healthcare access and abortion rights for women. Governor Kay Ivey signed it into law on Wednesday.

Jill Schupp, Missouri state Senator and Democrat, condemned the potential move for failing to understand that "women's lives all hold different stories".

The Missouri bill stipulates a few additional elements not included in the Alabama bill, like a specific ban on abortions done on the basis of race or sex of the fetus or a diagnosis or screening indication of Down Syndrome.

Alabama's law goes farther than the approach taken in many other red states.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Friday released a statement calling on Congress to pass a slate of legislation aimed at guaranteeing abortion and other reproductive rights around the country, even if Roe v. Wade gets overturned by the Supreme court.

Those bills generally ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, which can be as early as six weeks into a pregnancy - when many women don't yet know they're pregnant. Louisiana now has 3 clinics.

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