Missouri has become the latest Republican-led state to sign a strict anti-abortion bill into law.
On Friday, Gov. Mike Parson signed the bill called HB 126, also known as the Missouri Stands for the Unborn Act, which prohibits an abortion past eight weeks of gestational age.
Under HB 126, which goes into force on August 28, any person who performs an abortion after eight weeks could be charged with a Class B felony punishable by five to 15 years in prison.
Hours after Parson put his signature on the bill, many politicians and stars spoke out against the governor and the state legislation on social media.
“What. Is. Happening,” actor Chris Evans tweeted.
“Women can’t afford for us to take half-measures in response to an all-out onslaught on their rights. We have to fight back like our lives depend on it. They do,” Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who is running for president, also tweeted.
Among the many who opposed HB126 was presidential candidate and New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, who tweeted: “Please know this ban isn’t in effect yet—together we can stop these coordinated attacks on reproductive freedom. Standing in solidarity with the women of Missouri today.”
In addition, Booker released a statement striking back at Parson. “Let’s be clear about what this is: a coordinated attack aimed at controlling, dehumanizing, and criminalizing women,” he said. “And on day one as president, I’ll take action to ensure that no woman sees their rights threatened like this again.”
Women can't afford for us to take half-measures in response to an all-out onslaught on their rights. We have to fight back like our lives depend on it. They do. https://t.co/3y0Baaklaz— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) May 24, 2019
Dancing with the Stars champion and model Nyle DiMarco tweeted: “This is not heartbreaking assaulting women’s bodily autonomy and forcing them to carry the pregnancy term IS HEARTBREAKING.”
Another Democratic presidential candidate who made his stance known was Pete Buttigieg, who joined thousands of people on Tuesday at the #StopTheBans rally in front of the Supreme Court to protest against the recent wave of anti-abortion laws.
“Freedom means making sure that we enjoy freedom to live lives of our choosing, to prosper, and to do well — and includes a woman’s reproductive freedom that is under assault in so many parts of the country,” the South Bend, Indiana, mayor said in a video shared by Planned Parenthood. “I trust women to make the decisions about their bodies and about their lives that are going to affect their futures.
this is not heartbreaking— Nyle DiMarco (@NyleDiMarco) May 24, 2019
assaulting women’s bodily autonomy and forcing them to carry the pregnancy term IS HEARTBREAKING https://t.co/UQg7QDhd3L
The coordinated attack on women's health care continues. This is dangerous and unconstitutional, and we must fight back. https://t.co/2fm5kRGSQ6— Amy Klobuchar (@amyklobuchar) May 24, 2019
The final version of the legislation does not have exceptions for victims of rape or incest. However, it does include exceptions for medical emergencies such as when a mother’s life is at risk or she is facing serious permanent injury.
Before signing the bill on Friday, Parson defended the lack of exceptions.
“Is it a terrible thing that happens in those situations? Yes it is. … But the reality of it is bad things do happen sometimes. But you have two months to decide what you’re going to do with that issue, and I believe in two months you can make a decision,” he said, according to CBS News.