A Missouri House committee considered a bill Tuesday that would protect unborn babies from the moment of conception and ban abortions.
The bill, sponsored by state Rep. Mike Moon, R-Ash Grove, would create a ballot measure to change the state constitution to grant “personhood” rights to babies from the moment their lives begin, KRCG News reports. In doing so, it would ban abortions in Missouri.
“Missouri is the Show-Me state,” Moon said during the committee hearing. “The General Assembly recognized that life begins at conception back in 1986, and we must not stop, due to the failures or successes of other states.”
He previously said the legislation would lay the groundwork for laws or litigation to end abortion in the future, but it likely would not ban abortions right away because of Roe v. Wade.
Moon introduced a similar measure last year. It passed the state House but was not acted upon in the Senate.
“As a former embryo myself, I want that protection for all embryos, present and future,” Moon said in 2016 when he introduced the bill, according to the Associated Press. He added his goal is to “set a foundation in the [state] Constitution that protects the health of women and unborn children.”
Planned Parenthood spokesperson M’Evie Mead blasted the bill this week, calling it “a serious government intrusion” into what she believes should be a woman’s decision.
Because of the current make-up of the U.S. Supreme Court, the measure likely would be overturned if it became law. In 2012, the Oklahoma Supreme Court struck down a similar personhood bill as unconstitutional because it recognized unborn babies as human beings with a right to life.
Most pro-life groups believe the key to ending legalized abortion is overturning Roe v. Wade, and the current Supreme Court justices are highly unlikely to do so, especially after the unexpected death of pro-life Justice Antonin Scalia. Three of the justices, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and John Roberts, potentially would vote to overturn Roe and return abortion laws back to the authority of the states; but five of the other justices almost certainly would not. Scalia’s seat on the high court remains empty.
President-elect Donald Trump promised to nominate “pro-life” justices to the high court, but he would need to nominate and the Senate would have to confirm several before there is a chance of Roe v. Wade being overturned.