You law, titled Missouri Stands for the Unborn Act, prohibits abortion for women eight or more weeks pregnant and for women seeking an abortion solely because of a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome. United States 8th Circuit Judge Jane Kelly ruled that the law was unconstitutional.
The ruling upheld an earlier injunction issued by a district court in a lawsuit filed by Reproductive Heath Services of Planned Parenthood against Missouri, according to the ruling. The appeals court held that banning abortions before feasibility on the basis of “gestational age” was in practice a ban, as “there is nothing an individual in Missouri can legally do to obtain an abortion at or after. the applicable gestational age limit. “
“The gestational age provisions are prohibited and we agree with the district court,” the court wrote. “The bans on pre-viability abortions are categorically unconstitutional.”
The court also ruled that banning abortion for women seeking the procedure solely because of a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome was unconstitutional.
???? BREAKDOWN: Federal appeals court blocks cascading abortion bans in Missouri
Abortion remains safe and legal in Missouri! #MoLeg
– Advocates of Planned Parenting in Missouri (@PPMO_Advocates) June 9, 2021
“We are disappointed that the circuit court refused to enforce Missouri law,” said Sue Liebel, political director for pro-life group The Susan B. Anthony List, in a declaration Wednesday. “Missouri lawmakers acted on the will of the people when they put in place some of the nation’s strongest protections for the unborn and their mothers in 2019.”
Yamelsie Rodríguez, president of Planned Parenthood’s reproductive health services in the St. Louis region, applauded the decision. “Planned Parenthood won’t give up – today is proof enough,” he said in a declaration.
The ruling comes amid a wave of new pro-life legislation, with over 500 bills in favor of life introduced this year by lawmakers across the country.
Also, the Supreme Court decided last month to hear Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a case involving a Mississippi law ban on abortion after 15 weeks. Abortion advocacy groups, such as the Center for Reproductive Rights, have concerns raised that the case has the potential to overturn Roe v. Wade.