May 16 (UPI) -- The Missouri state Senate approved a bill Thursday along party lines to ban abortions when a fetal heartbeat is detected, joining similar bills in other states in hopes of getting the issue back in front of the U.S. Supreme Court.
The Missouri House passed a similar bill months ago but will have to vote on the Senate version again before it would head to Republican Gov. Mike Parson, who is expected to sign it into law.
In Missouri's version of the "heartbeat" bill, physicians can face revocation of their medical licenses for performing an abortion without checking for a fetal heartbeat along with a $1,000 fine. Doctors also could be sent to prison for up to 15 years.
The bill carries a provision that would ban abortion completely if the Supreme Court overturns its 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision, which guarantee's a woman's right to an abortion nationwide.
A federal judge has temporarily blocked a similar bill in Kentucky while others were struck down altogether by federal judges in North Dakota and Iowa. The bill comes on the heels of Georgia passing its own heartbeat bill that defines the fetus as a "natural person" and a "human being" once a heartbeat is detected.
In Alabama, Gov. Kay Ivey signed a bill Wednesday that bans most abortions, even in the case or rape or incest. Doctors can face 99 years in prison for performing the procedure.
"We have the opportunity to be one of the strongest pro-life states in the country," Parson said Wednesday before the Senate passed the bill. "It's a God-given right to live. That's why we're here today, to protect people who don't have a voice."
Missouri state Sen. Jill Schupp, a Democrat, said her party managed to win some "marginal" provisions, but not enough to win any of their votes.
"The truth is there are 10 of us and 24 of them and our numbers matter," Schupp told the Kansas City Star. "The only way we are going to stop terrible legislation like this is to elect more Democrats."