Published: Fri, August 30, 2019
Health Care | By Cedric Leonard

Judge temporarily blocks Missouri's 8-week abortion ban from taking effect

Judge temporarily blocks Missouri's 8-week abortion ban from taking effect

Missouri's ban, which prohibits the procedure after eight weeks, with no rape or incest exception, was set to take effect August 28, before a federal judge temporarily blocked it from being implemented. In his decision, Sachs repeatedly returned to the notion that prior to fetal viability, the state does not maintain a sufficient interest in restricting a woman's right to have an abortion.

Attorneys for the state can appeal Sachs' ruling. 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".

In May Missouri legislators passed the "Missouri Stands for the Unborn" act which makes abortion at or after the eight-week mark illegal, as a part of a greater challenge of USA abortion laws. Roe v. Wade was a landmark decision passed by the Supreme Court in 1973 that ruled that the U.S. Constitution would protect a pregnant woman's liberty to choose to have an abortion without excessive government restriction.

Only one facility in the state now performs abortions, and the renewal of its license is now being disputed in court.

In his opinion, Sachs said that ultimately, a ban on all abortions performed eight weeks after a woman's last menstrual period will nearly certainly be found unconstitutional, as every ban based on gestational age has been, right up to the time of fetal viability.

It's one of the nation's most restrictive abortion laws.

Missouri's law also includes an outright ban on abortions except in cases of medical emergencies but that would take effect only if Roe v Wade is overturned.

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States have been adopting such bans in an attempt to have the U.S. Supreme Court revisit the Roe v. Wade decision.

"This case in Missouri shows Americans all they need to know about the unscrupulous, predatory abortion lobby, headed by Planned Parenthood", she said.

"The various sections specifying prohibitions on abortions at various weeks prior to viability can not be allowed to go into effect on August 28, as scheduled", Judge Howard Sachs wrote in an 11-page opinion.

Planned Parenthood and the ACLU have been on the front lines, bringing legal challenges to those laws. "And so the real, lived experience for those who are seeking an abortion in Missouri will be impacted".

More than a third of states, including Kansas, have 20-week abortion bans, according to the Guttmacher Institute.

"As the father of a child with special needs, Attorney General Schmitt is particularly sensitive to suggestions that an unborn child who will have special needs is any lesser of a human being, and we're glad that provisions relating to that issue were left in place in the judge's ruling today", spokesman Chris Nuelle said in a statement.

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