On Thursday, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon (D-MO) said he will allow two bills that restrict late-term abortions to pass and become a law without his signature. House Bill 213 and Senate Bill 65 passed the general assembly with overwhelming majorities. Missouri had already banned abortions except to preserve the life or health of the woman, but the new law removes the general health or mental health exceptions. Under the new law, abortions are only allowed after 20 weeks to save the woman’s life or when continuing pregnancy risks substantial injury to the woman’s major bodily functions.
This law permits doctors to decide viability on a case by case basis. Doctors who violate the new law are subject to a fine of up to $50,000, loss of their medical license, and imprisonment.
Governor Nixon has said he supports abortion rights, though he has now allowed multiple abortion restrictions to pass without his signature or a veto. Other states, including Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Idaho, and Indiana have passed laws restricting late-term abortions.