After six hours of, at times, heated and racially charged debate Tuesday, the Alabama house passed four bills restricting abortion, the most severe of which would ban abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected and with no exceptions for rape or incest.
In St. Louis, we’ve always said, “Don’t like the weather? Wait a minute. It’ll change.” Well, the weather is not changing in our floodwater-friendly capitol, where a torrent of anti-choice bills is raining down on our heads. It is simply foul.
The new bills would ban abortion as early as six weeks, make it extremely difficult for minors to obtain abortions, make all women wait longer to get an abortion, and force women carrying fetuses with fatal anomalies to hear about perinatal hospice options that may not even exist in the state.
Abortion access across the South is decreasing as anti-choice politics spread into “back-door” abortion bans through increased clinic regulation.
Reproductive rights activists help defeat a proposed abortion restriction in Louisiana, while a bunch of new restrictions pop up in states across the country.
Reproductive rights supporters in Louisiana rallied at the state capitol Tuesday afternoon despite the last-minute postponement of an abortion regulation hearing.
If any of the bills passed, Missouri would join Utah and South Dakota as the only states with 72-hour waiting periods.
The announcement came the night before a scheduled hearing on the new rules, which, in part, would have mandated extensive physical refurbishments for outpatient abortion facilities with which no existing abortion provider would have been able to immediately comply.
Monday night, a spokesperson for the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals told RH Reality Check that it will “be rescinding the language regarding the 30-day period for blood tests,” and that it intends to “clarify” the building requirements for abortion facilities.
The Supreme Court won’t take a look at Arizona’s 20-week abortion ban, but it will consider a bunch of free speech challenges to abortion rights protections.