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Part of Missouri pro-life law blocked by judge

Portions of a Missouri law banning abortions after 8 weeks has been temporarily blocked by a federal judge. Other aspects of the law will go into effect this week.

Judge Howard Sachs said in his 11-page opinion that the Missouri Stands for the Unborn Act, or H.B. 126, cannot be allowed to go into effect on Aug. 28, as was previously scheduled.

“The various sections specifying prohibitions on abortions at various weeks prior to viability cannot be allowed to go into effect on Aug. 28, as scheduled,” Sachs wrote.

Missouri Right to Life President, Steve Rupp, stated that the decision was not unexpected.

“Judge Sachs has a history of ruling for abortion. Given that history, Missouri Right to Life is disappointed but not surprised by this ruling,” stated Rupp.

Planned Parenthood, the American Civil Liberties Union and the law firm Paul, Weiss filed the lawsuit against Republican Gov. Mike Parson and other Missouri state officials in July in an attempt to block abortion legislation.

“By imposing a ban on abortion prior to viability, the 8-Week Ban violates Plaintiffs’ patients’ rights to privacy and liberty guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution,” the groups wrote.

The pro-abortion groups said the laws violate Roe v. Wade since the ban forbids Missouri women from exercising “their constitutionally protected right to a pre-viability abortion.”

Missouri Right to Life was optimistic about the portions of the bill that will go into effect on Wednesday, Aug. 28.

Those provisions are:
  • An increase in tax credit to 70% of the donation and removes the state limit on tax-credits.
  • A required increase in the malpractice insurance for those performing or inducing abortion, bringing it in line with medical standards.
  • A requirement that abortion or family planning facilities, referring a woman to an out-of-state abortion facility, give that woman Missouri’s printed informed consent information.
  • The ban on abortion when Roe v. Wade is overturned.
Rump states that, “These provisions were never challenged by the ACLU and Planned Parenthood and therefore never came before Judge Sachs for a ruling.”
Also going into effect is the ban on abortion for reasons of race, sex and a Down Syndrome diagnosis. While this was challenged by the ACLU and Planned Parenthood, Judge Sachs limited this ban to viable babies.

Parson signed the Missouri Stands for the Unborn Act into law in May, banning almost all abortions after eight weeks of pregnancy. The law allows for abortions after eight weeks only in cases of medical emergency and does not make exceptions for rape or incest.

“My administration will execute the laws the legislature passes,” Parson told reporters in May. “And this pro-life administration will not back down.”

Missouri Right to Life released a statement saying, “Governor Parson has made it clear that Missourians believe in the humanity of unborn children and that “Missouri Stands For the Unborn.” We call upon our Attorney General to appeal this egregious decision.”

–Metro Voice and wire services

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