JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Flanked by the Speaker of the House and lawmakers from both chambers who have sponsored the anti-abortion legislation, Gov. Mike Parson called for the passage of “one of the strongest pro-life” bills in the country.
At a rally Wednesday evening, ahead of the Senate taking up the legislation, Missouri’s chief executive told the media and supporters he believes “it will get done” this year. The General Assembly has until 6 p.m. Friday to approve the legislation.
“Thanks to the leaders in the House and the Senate we have the opportunity to be one of the strongest pro-life states in the country,” said Parson. “I would like to thank everyone for being here today for taking a bold stand for life.”
“Until the day we no longer have abortions in this country, I will never waiver in the fight for life,” added Parson.
The legislation, HB 126 and SB 279, would further restrict the ability of a pregnant woman to access an abortion, should she so choose.
Under the version passed by the House earlier this year, abortions would be prohibited after eight weeks. It includes provisions for bans at 14-,18-, and 20-weeks should courts issue rulings on when abortions can occur. It also includes a provision outlawing all abortions should Roe v. Wade be overturned.
“This is the type of legislation designed to withstand a challenge,” said House Speaker Elijah Haahr.
Reps. Nick Schroer and Mary Elizabeth Coleman, two of the individuals championing HB 126, stood with Parson and urged the passage of the legislation.
“We want to make abortion not just illegal, but unthinkable,” said Coleman.
“Bit-by-bit we have made an impact,” said Sen. Bob Onder, sponsor of SB 279. “From 20,000 abortions at the high to 2,900 today, but 2,900 too many. From five abortion clinics, with several more ready to open just a few years ago, down to one abortion clinic, but that is one abortion clinic too many.”
The Senate is set to take up the anti-abortion legislation Wednesday night. Earlier in the day, Senate Democrats filibustered and made their stance on the subject very clear.
Last week, the Senate version of the legislation was brought up and laid over after facing opposition. Onder is pushing for the bill to be legislation to be brought up and not be “deluded” or “gutted.”
“There are those who would obstruct or block, and block a vote on the Missouri Stands for the Unborn Act. There are others who would weaken or dilute or gut the bill. We can’t let that happen,” said Onder.
Alisha Shurr was a reporter for The Missouri Times and The Missouri Times Magazine. She joined The Missouri Times in January 2018 after working as a copy editor for her hometown newspaper in Southern Oregon. Alisha is a graduate of Kansas State University.