Missouri is now the latest state to pass highly-restrictive anti-abortion legislation. The bill passed Missouri’s republican led house on Friday, banning abortions at eight weeks of pregnancy.
“We believe in the right to life,” said Geri Graves, Hannibal’s Right to Life Chairperson.
“It’s a woman’s choice,” said Hannibal resident Ronda Barton.
This bill is a long time coming for Graves, who has been a part of Missouri Right to Life for more than 20 years.
“I feel there’s a coarsening of life since Roe v. Wade became the law of the land,” said Graves. “I think there’s general lack of respect for all human life.”
But the state’s latest abortion ban isn’t sitting well with everyone.
“We have to have a right to our bodies,” said Barton.
The bill includes exceptions for what it defines as medical emergencies, such as cases when the mother’s life is at risk or she is facing serious permanent injury, but not for pregnancies that are the result of rape or incest.
“To force a woman to have a child that came from violence and there is so much that follows that forever for the child,” said Barton. “Are they prepared? Are they prepared to take care of that child for life?”
When asked what she thought about that rape and incest exemption, Graves says an abortion more than likely hides the crime and the perpetrator walks free.
“Something like that, while I would never wish it upon anyone I think that sometimes the birth of the child could minimize some of that pain of the rape,” said Graves.
Whatever your stance, this issue clearly a passionate one for many.
“I don’t believe we have a right to take that life,” said Graves.
“It’s our bodies,” said Barton. “They have no right to tell us how and what we have to do with them. It’s outrageous.”
It now heads to the governor’s desk. The law would only go into effect if the supreme court overturns Roe v. Wade.