Missouri bans abortions after eight weeks
Republican Rep. Barry Hovis, a former law enforcement officer, said many of the rape cases he has seen are "consensual rapes" — a phrase that drew ire from at least one other member.
Hovis was defending the bill saying it allows women to get abortions during the first eight weeks of pregnancy. (Remember: Many women often aren't aware they're pregnant in the first eight weeks.)
Here's what he said:
"Most of my rapes were not the gentlemen jumping out of the bushes that nobody had ever met. That was one or two times out of one hundred. Most of them were date rapes or consensual rapes, which were all terrible, but I sat in court — sat in court — when juries would struggle with those types of situations where it was a 'he-said she-said,' and they would find the person not guilty. Unfortunate, if it really happened, but I had no control over that, because it was a judge or a jury making those decisions. But we'll just say someone is sexually assaulted. They have eight weeks to make a decision."
Later, Democratic Rep. Raychel Proudie declared: "There is no such thing as consensual rape."
CNN called and emailed Hovis' office for comment and will update this post.
A reporter with the Kansas City Star said she caught up with Hovis, who said he misspoke:
Rep. Shamed Dogan, a Republican who represents St. Louis County, switched his vote to no because he said the bill goes too far.
Dogan explained that he had initially supported the bill, but had a change of heart when it failed to include exceptions for rape and incest.
"I really struggled with this one," he said.
Dogan said his constituents think the bill is "going too far."
He then explained why he voted against the bill:
"Nationally, we've seen a lot of uproar from people who are pro-life who would vote for more restrictions on abortion, but can't go there. They can't tolerate not saying rape and incest. President Trump, when he was asked this question in 2015, said, 'I am pro-life, but I believe in the three traditional exceptions: rape, incest and life of the mother.' So that's why I voted how I voted. Gentlemen, I hope to God that you and my colleagues don't try to castigate me as not pro-life any more."
The Missouri House just passed restrictive abortion bill prohibiting abortions after eight weeks of pregnancy -- after a heartbeat is detected -- though many women often don't know they're pregnant in that time.
The bill includes exceptions for medical emergencies but not for pregnancies that are the result of rape or incest.
Missouri's House voted 110-44 in favor of H.B. 128.
The bill will now head to Governor Mike Parson’s desk, he is expected to sign the bill in about a week, according to Governor Parson’s spokesperson.
Democratic Rep. Robert Sauls argued against the Missouri abortion bill, which doesn't include exceptions for rape or incest.
"There is not a single thing in this world that a male can experience that would come close to the indignity of being legally forced to carry your rapist’s baby," he said.
He continued: "If you can force an 11-year-old girl to carry her father’s baby to term — one that could very well harm her not just physically but mentally — that is not pro-life. You can’t say you’re pro-life when you are prepared to have a child risk her life to give birth to a rapist’s baby. That’s not pro-life."
Protesters were removed from the gallery at Missouri House after they starting shouting during debate, which was briefly stopped.
The shouting came moments after Rep. Crystal Quade, a Democrat from Greene County, blasted the bill and fellow lawmakers for supporting it.
"When you each see me in this hallway remember what you are doing to little girls who were like me because that abuse is me and you simply don't care," she said.
Quade then spoke directly to the women in the gallery and pointed at them.
"To the women of the state and the women up here, I am sorry. I am sorry there aren't enough of us in this chamber to stop this. I am sorry you're viewed as second-class citizens. Now it's up to you to change this," she said.
Republican Rep. Mary Elizabeth Coleman began her statement defending the Missouri abortion bill by saying that many of the Democratic woman in the House will not like her opinion.
"Abortion is the ultimate in might makes right. It is saying that if I don’t have the ability to kill my child that I, as a woman, can not obtain whatever dreams and believe I may have," she said. "It’s saying that my economic opportunities will be limited if I do not pay that price with the blood of my child."
“Our freedom can not be bought with the blood of our children," she said.
Rep. Ian Mackey, a Democrat from St. Louis County, made an impassioned plea today on the Missouri House floor to strike down a bill that would ban abortions after eight weeks.
Mackey argued the bill violates basic rights in the Constitution.
"This is nothing but an affront not to Roe v. Wade, but to what it stands for: to the US Constitution itself," he said. "The right to privacy in this country. Privacy from intrusion from your government."
Mackey continued: "Today in this body, we, the government, us, right here, members are seizing every woman in this state. We are seizing her and we may as well be the ones tying her hands to the bed post and forcing her into childbirth.”
"Women brought all of us into this world, and I sure hope they vote all of us out," he said.
A Republican representative defended the abortion bill by recounting her experience as a teen mother.
"Life begins at conception," she said. She then addressed some criticism from Democratic members, who said if the Republican representatives were truly "pro-life," they would do more to to combat issues like childhood poverty.
Here's how she put it:
“Mr. Speaker, I’m proud that our body, that our state is standing for the unborn. And I do care for those who go through poverty after they are born — I’ve lived it. Pregnant at 15 and homeless — I’ve lived it. With a family that I couldn't turn to — I’ve lived it."
"And this bill is the right thing to do," she said.
Rep. Sarah Unsicker started her statement on the Missouri abortion bill by listing off "ways that woman around the world who don't have access to legal abortion perform their own."
“Laundry bleach, acid," she said. "Knitting needles, bicycle spokes, ballpoint pens, jumping from the top of the stairs or the roof."
Unsicker, a Democrat who represents St. Louis County, said the bill is "cruel" and "mean-spirited."
"We will be killing women with this bill," she said.