With little discussion, the Senate Rules, Joint Rules, Resolutions and Ethics Committee voted 4-2 to approve the measure, sponsored by Sen. Justin Brown, R-Rolla, sending it to the Senate floor with four days to go in the legislative session.
The Supreme Corut is expected to overturn the infamous Roe v. Wade decision this month or next and finally end an era of 63 million abortions and abortion on demand.
When it does, a new bill would make Missouri one of the states to protect babies from abortion. A Senate committee on Tuesday advanced legislation to trigger Missouri’s near-total abortion ban once the Supreme Court decision becomes official.
Senators want to try to pass this resolution preemptively, since the legislature is not scheduled to be in session in June or early July and the abortion ban would have to wait — making it so babies would be killed in abortions during the delay.
The effort is connected to a provision contained in Missouri’s 2019 anti-abortion law. That measure would outlaw all abortions, except in medical emergencies, if the high court strikes Roe v. Wade, the 1973 case establishing a constitutional right to an abortion.
The attorney general, governor or the Legislature could trigger the ban if the court issues such a decision. The Legislature would need to approve a resolution to trigger the ban, which lawmakers were weighing Tuesday.
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The prohibition that would be triggered, Missouri’s Right to Life of an Unborn Child Act, states individuals who knowingly perform or induce an abortion in violation of the law would be guilty of a class B felony and would be subject to revocation of their professional licenses.
Attorney General Eric Schmitt and Gov. Mike Parson could also trigger the law without the Legislature — making it so babies would be protected from abortions quickly after Roe is reversed. Schmitt has said he would take the necessary steps to get the abortion ban up and running.
More than half the country would immediately or likely protect unborn babies by banning all or most abortions if Roe v. Wade is overturned, including Missouri. The estimate comes from the Guttmacher Institute, a pro-abortion research group that studies abortion. According to its analysis, 26 states “are certain or likely to ban abortions” if the U.S. Supreme Court gets rid of Roe.
Many states already have taken action to protect unborn babies from abortion in anticipation of the day when Roe will be overturned. The Guttmacher analysis identified 21 states that have laws or constitutional amendments that would ban abortions once the power to do so returns to the states.
These are: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
Some of these states still have pre-Roe laws that prohibit abortions, and others have trigger laws that immediately will outlaw the killing of unborn babies in abortions once Roe is overturned. Several also have multiple pro-life laws in place including heartbeat laws and other legislation that would limit or ban abortions if the courts allow them to do so.
Additionally, Guttmacher predicts that five more states would move quickly to protect unborn babies from abortion if Roe is overturned. Florida, Indiana, Montana, Nebraska and Wyoming have passed a number of pro-life laws in recent years, and they likely would take action “as soon as possible” to protect unborn babies by passing abortion bans, according to the analysis.
Altogether, these actions would result in hundreds of thousands of unborn babies being spared from abortion every year. Recently, a group of 154 economists and researchers estimated that abortion numbers would drop by about 120,000 in the first year and potentially even more in subsequent years if the high court overturns Roe and allows states to ban abortions again.
Other analyses have predicted anywhere from eight to 31 states would end abortions if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade. In 2018, the pro-abortion group NARAL predicted 13 states would immediately ban abortions. A previous estimate by the Center for Reproductive Rights put the number at 31 states. Another analysis by attorney Paul Linton in the journal “Issues in Law and Medicine” in 2012 estimated between eight and 11 states would ban abortions.
Polls consistently show that a majority of Americans want abortions to be banned or strictly limited – something Roe v. Wade does not allow.
Currently, states are forced to legalize abortions for any reason up to viability under Roe and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. Because of these cases, the U.S. is one of only seven countries in the world that allows elective abortions up to birth. Since 1973, about 63 million unborn babies and hundreds, perhaps thousands, of mothers have died in supposedly “safe,” legal abortions.