A look at provisions in Missouri’s anti-abortion legislation
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri’s Republican-led Legislature gave final approval Friday to a wide-ranging bill that would limit abortion, including a ban on the procedure from the eighth week of pregnancy onward. The bill now goes to Gov. Mike Parson, who is expected to sign it.
Here’s a look at what’s included in the bill:
EIGHT-WEEK ABORTION BAN
Prohibits abortions from the eighth week of pregnancy onward, with exceptions for medical emergencies but not for rape or incest. Doctors would have “the burden of persuasion” to prove an abortion was done because of a medical emergency or face a felony punishable by five to 15 years in prison and risk losing their medical licenses. Women who receive abortions could not be prosecuted.
If the eight-week ban doesn’t survive a likely court challenge, the legislation includes a ladder of progressively less restrictive time limits that would prohibit abortions at 14 weeks, 18 weeks or 20 weeks.
The U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark Roe v. Wade ruling legalized abortion nationwide up until viability. The court at that time noted that viability typically was 24 to 28 weeks, although studies since then have found that some babies born as soon as 22 weeks have survived.
ROE V. WADE TRIGGER
Bans abortions at any time during pregnancy, except in cases of medical emergencies, if Roe v. Wade is overturned. Doctors would have “the burden of persuasion” to prove an abortion was done because of a medical emergency or face a felony charge punishable by five to 15 years in prison and risk losing their medical licenses. The ban would be triggered upon official notice by the attorney general, governor or Legislature that Roe v. Wade had been overturned.
RACE, SEX AND DOWN SYNDROME
Prohibits doctors from performing abortions based solely on race, sex or a diagnosis indicating Down Syndrome. Subjects such physicians to revocation of their medical licenses or lawsuits.
Requires a parent or guardian giving written consent for a minor to get an abortion to first notify the other custodial parent, unless the other parent has been convicted of a violent or sexual crime, is subject to a protection order or is “habitually in an intoxicated or drugged condition.”
Requires Missouri clinics that refer women to out-of-state abortion facilities to provide or mail women the same materials about abortions and fetal development that are provided before in-state abortions, including a new requirement that the materials include information about “the possibility of an abortion causing pain in the unborn child.”
Increases medical malpractice insurance requirements for physicians performing abortions from $500,000 to $1 million per occurrence and requires $3 million in total annual coverage.
Increases the state tax credit for donations to pregnancy resource centers, which offer pregnancy testing, counseling and other support, from 50 percent to 70 percent of the donation starting in 2021. Removes the annual statewide cap of $3.5 million for such tax credits, starting with the 2022 fiscal year.