Aside from medical emergency exceptions, it is illegal to terminate the lives of preborn babies in Missouri. But now, state Representative Jamie Corley (R) has submitted six possible constitutional amendments that would add cases of rape, incest, and fatal abnormalities to the list of exceptions.
One proposal would allow abortions for any reason up to 12 weeks into pregnancy, and all of Corley's suggestions would shield healthcare providers and those seeking abortions from criminal prosecution and civil penalties.
"If you read the language of the initiatives, they basically, still under this guise of female health and safety, they still will allow abortion all nine months of pregnancy," relays Susan Klein of Missouri Right to Life.
She has a theory on why Corley is taking this approach.
"This pro-abortion Republican that filed these initiatives is being defended by the attorney that has supported Planned Parenthood over all these years in every lawsuit that they file against our pro-life laws," notes Klein.
Some abortion proponents, however, are wary of Corley's proposals. Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri President and CEO Yamelsie Rodríguez argues that "exceptions have never provided meaningful access."
Those who support Corley's amendments will have to gather enough signatures to get them on the ballot. With that in mind, Klein has some advice for pro-lifers.
"Don't sign something that you don't know what it is," she warns. "There are going to be people that are being paid to collect signatures to put these pro-abortion initiatives on our ballot and change the way that we protect women and babies in Missouri."
In the meantime, Missouri Right to Life will continue its role of fighting for the lives of women and the babies.