A Missouri Representative Wants to Make Abortion Illegal in the State
Republican Missouri Representative Mike Moon has introduced what he calls the “Right to Due Process Act.” The bill would redefine a fertilized egg as a person with the Constitutional rights of any citizen. As The Guardian reports, the proposed law would enforce the Missouri constitution’s due process clause and would essentially label all abortion as murder.
Moon also filed a bill that would abolish abortion in Missouri and does not make exceptions for cases of rape, incest, or situations in which the pregnant person is in danger.
These proposals are only one of several pieces of legislation in Missouri that would roll back reproductive rights for its residents. Since 2010, abortion legislation has become increasingly restrictive in the state. According to the Guttmacher Institute, the state requires that pregnant people receive counseling that includes information to discourage them from having an abortion. They must also wait 72 hours before obtaining an abortion. Public funding is available for abortions only in the case of life endangerment. The state only has one abortion clinic left—Planned Parenthood of St. Louis—and its fate hangs in the balance in an upcoming hearing on whether it can keep its license. Last May, Gov. Mike Parson signed into law an eight-week ban on abortion and declared that it was “time to make Missouri the most pro-life state in the country.”
Mallory Schwarz, the executive director of NARAL Missouri, told Supermajority News that Moon’s proposed legislation is part of Missouri Republicans’ larger plan to limit reproductive rights in the state.
“The legislation proposed by Rep. Mike Moon is Missouri Republicans’ anti-choice agenda laid bare — shame people who have abortions, criminalize the doctors that care for them, and ban abortion, outright,” Schwarz said. “This so-called ‘Right to Due Process Act’ would task law enforcement with investigating and interrogating people who seek abortion care or experience a miscarriage, in addition to outlawing some forms of contraception.”
Schwarz added that many Missourians don’t realize that abortion is still legal in the state. Because abortion is inaccessible for so many residents — especially those who live in rural areas and are low-income and cannot afford to wait 72 hours for an abortion at a clinic located hours from their home — Schwarz said abortion is already not an option for many Missourians.
“It’s critical that Missourians know that Republicans in the Capitol will not stop restricting abortion — and the full scope of reproductive health care — until it is completely out of reach. But we are not powerless,” she said. Schwarz added that her fellow pro-choice Missourians have made it clear they will come for Gov. Mike Parson’s seat in the 2020 election, but until then, “together, we can raise our voices, rally at the Capitol, send letters to legislators, and use our collective power to demand legislatures fight for reproductive freedom — no matter what.”