US Court of Appeals blocks Missouri’s 8-week abortion law

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ST. LOUIS– The 8th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has blocked Missouri from enforcing a 2019 law that criminalized most abortions after eight weeks of pregnancy. The court upheld a lower court’s decision to block HB 126.

A three-judge panel from the court in St. Louis handed down the ruling Wednesday. The panel heard arguments last September in the legal battle over the law Gov. Parson signed in 2019. You can read the entire ruling here.

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt says he plans to ask the Supreme Court to review Missouri’s abortion law after the latest ruling. Here is a statement from his office:

My son Stephen has shown me the inherent beauty and dignity in all life, especially those with special needs. While we’re disappointed in the 8th Circuit’s decision, their decision does provide an avenue for this case to be heard by the Supreme Court, and we plan to seek review in the Supreme Court. I have never and will never stop fighting to ensure that all life is protected.

Eric Schmitt, Missouri Attorney General

FOX2 reported in Aug. of 2019 that a Kansas City federal judge ruled a section of the law that would ban most abortions starting at 8 eight weeks of pregnancy will not go into effect on Aug. 28, 2019 as planned.

The Missouri law, signed by Gov. Parson, would penalize medical professionals who perform abortions after eight weeks into a pregnancy — before many women know that they are pregnant, and well before the 24-week viability standard established by Roe — with up to 15 years in prison. The law does not include exceptions for instances of rape or incest, only for instances of “medical emergency,” such to prevent a pregnant woman’s death or “substantial and irreversible physical impairment.”

The lawsuit was filed by Reproductive Health Services, which operates Missouri’s lone abortion clinic in St. Louis, and the ACLU. The president of the facility tweeted:

Today’s decision is a critical victory for Missourians. At a time when Missouri politicians, at the behest of Gov. Parson and anti-abortion ideologues, continue their relentless attacks on reproductive health care, our rights often come down to one court decision at a time. For now, we celebrate our continued ability to provide safe, legal abortion at the last remaining clinic in Missouri.

Yamelsie Rodríguez, President & CEO of PPSLR

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