JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KFVS/AP) - Missouri’s governor held a press conference on Friday regarding this legislative session
Regarding the abortion bill, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson said if legislators send the bill to his desk he will sign it.
“I believe in pro-life and I will sign the bill,” said Parson at a press conference on Friday afternoon.
Missouri’s Republican-led Legislature approved the ban on abortions at eight weeks of pregnancy.
House lawmakers gave the sweeping abortion bill final approval on Friday, May 17 by a vote of 110-44.
The proposed ban allows exceptions only in medical emergencies, not cases of rape or incest.
The Missouri legislation comes after Alabama’s governor signed a bill Wednesday making performing an abortion a felony in nearly all cases.
Republican-led legislatures around the U.S. are imposing new abortion restrictions, hoping more conservative justices will overturn the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling legalizing abortion.
Kentucky, Mississippi, Ohio and Georgia have approved bans on abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected, which can occur in about the sixth week of pregnancy.
On Wednesday, Gov. Parson called for the bill to pass, saying: “It’s time to make Missouri the most pro-life state in the country.”
A Missouri state lawmaker was met with hisses when he used the phrase “consensual rape” during the highly charged House debate on the bill.
Republican Rep. Barry Hovis, of Cape Girardeau, said in the chamber Friday that most of the sexual assaults he handled before retiring from law enforcement weren’t strangers “jumping out of the bushes” but instead “date rapes or consensual rapes.”
Abortion-rights supporters who attended the debate hissed in response.
St. Louis-area Democratic Rep. Raychel Proudie later assured the House that “there is no such thing as consensual rape.”
Hovis wanted to clarify that he knows there is no such thing as consensual rape and he said he does not discredit victims of sexual assault.
“Whenever I was in law enforcement I would take sexual assault reports from a victim,” he said. “I always believed what they were telling me when I took that report, but when you would go and start investigating the other side sometimes the suspect or the alleged perpetrator would have a different story and say 'look this was consensual I did not do this. We would always refer that to the prosecutor and ultimately a judge or a jury would find that. But by misspeaking, you know I apologize for that.”
Planned Parenthood condemned the abortion bill, calling it dangerous and extreme.
Planned Parenthood in Missouri issued the following statement:
Organization officials said the state is becoming part of a national trend of extreme politicians pushing abortion band in defiance of the American people.