On February 27, the Missouri House of Representatives passed one of the most restrictive and extreme anti-abortion bans in the country. House Bill 126 would ban virtually all abortions in our state, robbing women of an essential right to a safe and legal abortion.
This unconstitutional and cruel bill would ban abortion as soon as six weeks – before many women even know they are pregnant. These type of bans are designed to achieve the ultimate goal of the anti-choice movement: to criminalize all abortion and punish women.
House Bill 126 has become a catchall for extreme anti-choice bans, including an amendment that would require minors to obtain written consent from both parents prior to terminating a pregnancy. These restrictions fail to recognize teens who are neglected or abused by their parents. Anti-choice legislators have also made sure to attach a “trigger law” to the bill, which would automatically ban abortion if Roe v. Wade is gutted by the anti-choice majority in the U.S. Supreme Court.
Missouri legislators have quickly advanced their anti-choice bill to the Senate for first read. All eyes are on our state to see if we will let anti-choice extremists dictate if, when, and how a woman should start or grow her family. Voters have told Missouri legislators that they believe women should make their healthcare decisions with their doctors, not their politicians.
The question is: will legislators listen?
Leah Boersig is board president of NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri.