Missouri's Senate has passed what its authors call one of the nation's most stringent anti-abortion bills, which would outlaw nearly all abortions at eight weeks of pregnancy.
The Republican-led Senate passed the bill, dubbed Missouri Stands With the Unborn, 24-10 early Thursday morning.
In a statement, state Sens. Dave Schatz and Caleb Rowden said: "Today the Missouri Senate passed one of the most pro-life bills in the United States: Missouri Stands for the Unborn Act.
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"This comprehensive, life-affirming legislation prohibits abortions once a heartbeat has been detected, prohibits abortions when a baby is capable of feeling pain, and would outlaw abortion in Missouri upon the reversal of Roe v. Wade."
It was passed just hours left before lawmakers’ Friday deadline to pass bills. It still needs at least another vote of approval in the Missouri House before it can go to Gov. Mike Parson, who is Republican and supports it.
The law allows exceptions to the abortion ban in cases of medical emergency but not in cases of rape or incest.
Missouri's move comes hours after Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signed a bill that would introduce a near-total abortion ban in the state. Kentucky, Mississippi, Ohio and Georgia have approved bans on abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected, which can occur in about the sixth week of pregnancy.
Louisiana is following suit with its own "heartbeat" abortion ban, which was approved unopposed by the Louisiana House Health and Welfare Committee on Wednesday.
Anti-abortion campaigners across the U.S. are pushing for new restrictions in hopes that the now more-conservative U.S. Supreme Court will overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion.