Missouri aim to pass restrictive abortion law, day

Missouri aim to pass restrictive abortion law, day

Missouri House lawmakers are expected to pass a bill on Friday to ban most abortions eight weeks after conception, days after Alabama introduced the nation's most restrictive abortion law.

Missouri senators overwhelmingly approved the legislation early on Thursday and Republican Gov. Mike Parson is expected to sign it into law. He has said he would make Missouri "one of the strongest pro-life states in the country."

In the bill, the only exclusion would be for medical emergencies. On Wednesday, Alabama banned abortions at any time barring the same exception.

Similar laws have been proposed in more than a dozen other states as Republican-controlled legislatures push to restrict the rights of women to terminate their pregnancies.

Renewed efforts to roll back Roe v. Wade, the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion nationwide in 1973 have been emboldened by two judicial appointments by President Donald Trump that have given conservatives a solid majority on the Supreme Court.

At a time when U.S. rates of abortion have sharply declined, the issue has also reignited clashes between religious conservatives and others who say pro-life protections should extend to the unborn, and those, including civil libertarians, who see such measures as an infringement on women's rights.

The sharpened national focus on the highly charged debate also coincides with the run-up to the 2020 U.S. presidential election.