Missouri bans abortions after eight weeks
Both Missouri's House and Senate voted to pass a restrictive abortion bill prohibiting abortions after eight weeks of pregnancy. Now, leaders of both chambers must sign paperwork and get the bill certified, before sending it to the governor’s desk, a spokesperson for GOP Gov. Mike Parson said.
Parson, who has voiced support for the bill, has until July 14 to sign it. However, he is expected to sign the bill in about a week.
So when does the bill take effect? The House passed an emergency clause, meaning the abortion law will go into effect as soon as the governor signs it, according to Trevor Fox, with Missouri House communications. Without the clause, the bill wouldn’t have gone into effect until end of August.
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.