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Missouri Senate joins GOP anti-abortion wave with 8-week ban

During debate in the Missouri Senate in Jefferson City Wednesday, May 15, 2019, Freshman senator, Karla May, D-St. Louis, listens to opposing arguments regarding Missouri's proposed new abortion law. Opponents of the bill have begun efforts to block it in that legislative body. The bill would prohibit an abortion after the unborn baby's heartbeat is detected. (Sally Ince/The Jefferson City News-Tribune via AP)

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri’s Republican-led Senate has passed a wide-ranging bill to ban abortions at eight weeks of pregnancy, acting only hours after Alabama’s governor signed a near-total abortion ban into law.

Senators voted 24-10 for the bill early Thursday. The proposed eight-week ban allows exceptions only in medical emergencies, not cases of rape or incest.

The measure now returns to the House for another vote on the Senate changes, ahead of a Friday deadline to pass bills.

Republican-led legislatures around the U.S. are imposing new 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 approved bans on abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected, which can occur in about the sixth week of pregnancy.

The Associated Press