3 Stories You Should Read 5/17/2019: Missouri, Equality Act, Abortion Facts
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In the category of: The march continues
The Missouri House just passed restrictive abortion bill prohibiting abortions after eight weeks of pregnancy — after a heartbeat is detected — though many women often don’t know they’re pregnant in that time.
The bill includes exceptions for medical emergencies but not for pregnancies that are the result of rape or incest.
Missouri’s House voted 110-44 in favor of H.B. 128.
The bill will now head to Governor Mike Parson’s desk, he is expected to sign the bill in about a week, according to Governor Parson’s spokesperson.
In the category of: Next stop the Senate
The Equality Act would extend civil rights protections to LGBTQ people.
The US House of Representatives on Friday passed the Equality Act, a bill that would protect LGBTQ people from discrimination in housing, the workplace, public accommodations, and other settings.
The bill, first introduced in 2015, would also expand public accommodations protections to prohibit discrimination based on sex, and strengthen other existing protections in public accommodations — by, for instance, ensuring that retail stores and banks are covered.
The bill would address a remaining gap in civil rights laws: While there are already federal laws protecting people from discrimination based on race, religion, sex, and disability, there are no such federal laws explicitly protecting LGBTQ people from discrimination.
The Democratic-controlled House passed the legislation, but it faces tough odds in the Senate, which is controlled by Republicans who generally oppose expanding LGBTQ rights — making the bill very unlikely to become law.
In the category of: Facts matter
As anti-abortion laws sweep the country, a lot of people have questions. Here are some answers.
Four states have passed “heartbeat” bills this year alone, banning abortion as early as six weeks into pregnancy. Alabama just passed a near-total ban on abortion at any stage of pregnancy, with no exceptions for rape or incest.
And on Thursday, Missouri moved a step closer to passing a ban on abortion at eight weeks’ gestation, also without exceptions for rape or incest — the bill passed the state Senate and now returns to the House for approval.
As legislation to restrict abortion moves forward around the country, many Americans have questions about the procedure. Some wonder whether abortion is still legal (it is, in every state in the country), whether it’s on the rise (it’s not), and how recently passed laws around the country would affect patients (the answers vary by state).
To help answer these questions and more, below are 10 facts that paint a picture of abortion in America today.
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