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Missouri GOP Senate Lawmakers Compare Abortion to Slavery, Block Exceptions for Rape and Incest in Extreme Abortion Ban 

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According to Missouri Democrats, extreme Missouri Republicans also drafted an amendment to ban women who have had abortions from accessing Medicaid for life.

WASHINGTON — Yesterday, Missouri Senate Republicans unanimously blocked a proposed amendment that would have added exceptions for rape and incest to the state’s abortion ban. Missouri has one of the most extreme abortion bans in the country – abortions are immediately banned in all cases except for “medical emergencies.” Fourteen states, including Missouri, all with Republican-majority legislatures, ban abortion outright.

In Missouri, as GOP lawmakers doubled down on denying reproductive care to victims of rape and incest (Yes, you read that right), they made offensive and outlandish arguments that show just how uninformed they are on reproductive care. 

For instance, GOP State Sen. Rick Brattin suggested that abortion is as much an atrocity as slavery, and argued that giving birth could help women heal from sexual trauma. 


Sen. Brattin:

“That’s why we’re doing what we’re doing. That’s why the law is written the way that it’s written. It’s to protect innocent life. Just like in the 13th and the 14th Amendment, we – we’re celebrating Black history because of the atrocity that was done upon African-Americans in this nation with slavery. There was never an exception to what is a good form of slavery and what isn’t. It was a terrible atrocity no matter the situation. No matter if you were poor and you had a slave, or whether you were the richest slaveowner, it was terrible and it was an atrocity, and it should have been ended all across the board. It’s the same situation with this. 

“If you want to go after the rapist, let’s give him the death penalty. Absolutely, let’s do it… But not the innocent person caught in-between that, by God’s grace, may even be the greatest healing agent you need in which to recover from such an atrocity.”

Meanwhile, GOP State Sen. Bill Eigel wrongly contended that “a one-year-old could get an abortion under this.”

On top of all of this, Missouri Democrats accused Missouri Republicans of drafting another amendment that could ban women from Medicaid benefits if they’ve accessed abortion care while a recipient of Missouri HealthNet Benefits. Republicans’ extremism in Missouri clearly knows no bounds, as they continue to support the most restrictive abortion ban possible and propose additions to one of the most restrictive in the nation. Electing Democrats to the state legislature is the only defense against the dangerous anti-abortion policies that Missouri Republicans will continue to push with the power that their majorities afford. The DLCC is committed to building Democratic power and electing champions of reproductive freedom to legislatures across the country. 

Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee Press Secretary Sam Paisley issued the following statement:

“Missouri is one the most dangerous states for pregnant women to live. Denying victims of rape and incest access to reproductive care is unconscionable, and it’s outrageous that every single Republican voted in lockstep to block these exceptions. Not only that, but the egregious and offensive arguments Republicans made to support this dangerous abortion ban show the dangers of unchecked Republican extremism. It’s shocking that the elected representatives shaping statewide policy are comparing abortion to slavery and suggesting that one-year-olds will get abortions. Republicans across the country continue to ramp up their attacks on abortion access, even in states where it’s already entirely outlawed. The anti-abortion extremism of Republicans across the country is cause for alarm and will only get worse so long as they control state legislatures.

“The only path to protecting Missourians and communities across the country from Republicans’ crusade against reproductive care is to elect Democrats to state legislatures. Abortion policies are decided in states. It’s time to elect state legislators who know what they’re talking about.” 

The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (DLCC) is the official Democratic Party committee dedicated to winning America’s state legislatures and building state infrastructure. Over the last decade, we have fought cycle-over-cycle to gain a dozen new legislative chamber majorities and we are leading the effort to bring national attention and investment to our ballot level. State legislatures are the building blocks of our democracy and have the closest connections to Americans’ day-to-day lives. From protecting fundamental freedoms and voting rights to growing the middle class, the DLCC and state legislators are moving the Democratic agenda forward and shaping the future of this country.

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