A Missouri lawmaker just introduced a law that would force police to actively go after women getting abortions
Missouri state lawmaker Rep. Mike Moon introduced a law that would compel law enforcement officers to actively try to stop women from getting an abortion. The proposed Right to Due Process Act would to "affirmatively enforce" the right to life of "children in a women's womb," effective at the end of August 2020. The restrictive abortion law comes after Missouri's eight-week abortion ban was blocked by a federal judge last year. Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.
In another move to restrict abortions in the state, a Missouri lawmaker introduced a bill that would essentially force law enforcement officers to actively try to stop women from getting an abortion — an act that would effectively be criminalized as "murder." Rep. Mike Moon proposed a bill called the Right to Due Process Act that would change current state legislation to state that the "life of each human being begins at fertilization," extending the constitutional rights of a person to a fertilized egg. "The laws of this state shall be interpreted and construed to acknowledge on behalf of the [unborn] child in a woman's womb at every stage of development, all the rights, privileges, and immunities available to other persons, citizens, and residents of this state," the introduced legislation read. If passed, any terms and references to "unborn child[ren]" in Missouri law would be changed to "child[ren] in a women's womb." In addition to redefining what constitutes a human life, the Right to Due Process Act would also compel law enforcement officers, officers of the court, and any licensed or state-regulated entity to "affirmatively enforce" a person's right to "life, liberty, or property without due process of law." In other words, law enforcement officers would be required to try to actively prevent women from getting abortions. Moon also introduced legislation to outright abolish "murder by abortion." The law would also criminalize abortion for women who have pregnancies that are not viable or potentially fatal, striking out exemptions for maternal health. It is not unclear from Moon's bill how law enforcement would enforce the new provision. Moon did not immediately respond to Insider's requests for comment on the bill. However, a fellow state lawmaker who frequently works with Moon told The Guardian the bill was focused on ensuring rights for fetuses. "The main thing for me, is understanding again – if it is a life and we believe it is a life then it should have rights just like the rest of us," Rep. Ben Baker told The Guardian. "But how we go about that line of where we would forcefully deal with that situation – I think we have to take a lot of things into consideration." Moon has long been an extreme anti-abortion advocate. The lawmaker previously beheaded and gutted a chicken on Facebook to garner support for another one of his anti-abortion bills and proposed creating an abortion exhibit in a state museum, the Kansas City Star reported. The law would need to be passed in both state houses and be signed by the governor into law, and it would likely face significant legal challenges if passed. Abortion in legal in all 50 states due to the US Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade. The attempt to criminalize abortions comes after previous attempts to ban abortion at eight weeks in the state. However, the bill was struck down by a federal judge in August 2019. Read more:
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