All eyes are on the governor of Missouri, while pro-choice and anti-abortion activists wait to see if Governor Jay Nixon will sign into law two new restrictions on abortion. Although the bills passed with veto-proof majorities, Nixon’s signature could signal how far he would be willing to go to defend any court challenges that could arise from the restrictions’ implementation.
Via CBS News, St. Louis:
The two identical measures would make it a felony after 20 weeks of pregnancy to perform an abortion — unless there is risk of permanent damage to the mother, the fetus is non-viable, or two physicians agree that the woman’s life is in danger.
The Republican-controlled legislature passed both bills by veto-proof margins in both the House and Senate. Nixon has three options — sign them into law, veto them or do nothing and let them become law without his name attached. Last year, Nixon allowed an abortion-related bill to become law without his signature. It requires pregnant women seeking an abortion to first have a chance to see an ultrasound and to receive literature describing abortion procedures and risks.
Nixon plans to announce his decision later this afternoon.
Update: Although Nixon did not sign the bill into law, he did not veto, and the law will go into effect August 28th, when it will replace a general health exception with one that will only allow exceptions for cases of threatening life or causing permanent physical harm.