Editorials

Missouri’s extreme abortion bill rivals Alabama in cruelty and doing harm to women

How abortion access would vary without Roe v. Wade

Different states have different laws in place that will take effect if Roe v. Wade is overturned.
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Different states have different laws in place that will take effect if Roe v. Wade is overturned.

Under the almost total abortion ban the Missouri Senate passed in the middle of the night — and no, that’s not a figure of speech — not even an adolescent victim of rape, incest or human trafficking could end a pregnancy after eight weeks.

Doctors violating the ban, even in these frightening circumstances, could go to prison for up to 15 years.

This 3 a.m. assault on both process and people still has to pass the House, as it has before.

But Gov. Mike Parson can’t wait to sign this legislation, which would do real harm to real Missourians. “This pro-life administration will not back down,” he said.

Republican state Sen. Bob Onder did yell from the floor, “We should be ashamed at ourselves of what we are doing today!”

But his point was that the bill did not go far enough. He wanted a fetal heartbeat bill, which would have been slightly more restrictive, and said later that instead of calling it the “Missouri Stands for the Unborn Act,” the “Missouri Stands for the Unborn Act Sort of Kind Of,” would be more accurate.

It does allow abortion in the event of a medical emergency.

But the result of the Senate’s all-nighter is certainly clarifying: Let no one say they don’t know up to what point human life is valued by the GOP majority. The voiceless and vulnerable still in utero? Yes. The voiceless and vulnerable abused seventh grader? No.

Republicans often say that government shouldn’t pick winners and losers, but women in crisis would lose if this bill becomes law. Government should get off our backs, but other perches are OK.

Every Republican in the Missouri Senate voted yes, and every Democrat voted no. We don’t know how this will end, either legally or politically, but do know that this race to the most extreme possible position can only leave us as a people more divided and defended.

Missouri now joins Alabama, Georgia, Ohio and Kentucky in the competition to challenge the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision before the anti-abortion Supreme Court that Donald Trump promised and has delivered.

Already, only one clinic in the state performs abortions.

But conservatives were taking no chances in making sure that one closes, too: One activist even posted the cellphone numbers of Republican leaders and asked the like-minded to pressure them not to compromise in any way. She needn’t have worried.

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