Governor Parson’s decision to sign Missouri’s extreme anti-abortion bill into law today is a horrific blow to healthcare in Missouri. This measure will drastically limit the ability of Missourians to access safe, legal abortion care and endanger the lives of minors.

Missourians recognize the right to an abortion is protected under the U.S. Constitution. The Missouri Legislature, trying to outdo the misguided and extreme examples of anti-choice zealots in Alabama, Ohio, Georgia, and Kentucky, has made its intention clear: it wants to ban all abortion. Preventing Missourians from accessing abortion after eight weeks, before some even know they are pregnant, is unconstitutional and dangerous.

Abortion access is healthcare. This law would criminalize doctors who perform abortions and force pregnant individuals to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term, even if the pregnancy is not viable or is risky for the mother. This measure will also require minors seeking an abortion to notify both parents prior to their abortion, even though minors are already required to have the written consent of a parent or guardian. This disregards the risk to teens who have an abusive or absent parent and delays their care. 

“With Governor’s Parson’s decision to sign HB 126, he joins the other out of touch Republican leaders who fail to protect the right to an abortion even in cases of rape and incest,” said ACLU of Missouri Legislative and Policy Director Sara Baker. “This legislation puts politicians in the exam room and challenges the basic autonomy of Missourians. It is unconstitutional, and it must be stopped.”

Passing an eight week abortion ban is an example of government overreach and disregard for the constitutional rights of Missourians. The ACLU of Missouri will explore all options, including litigation, to block the law from going into effect.

“The Constitution gives pregnant individuals with their doctors the right to make the profoundly important and personal decision whether to terminate a pregnancy,” said Tony Rothert, Legal Director of the ACLU of Missouri. “Despite this political stunt, we will make sure that abortion remains legal in every state.”

Without further action, HB 126 will become law on August 28, 2019.