Federal judge blocks Missouri’s 8-week abortion ban

A federal judge blocked Missouri’s law banning abortions after eight weeks, one day before the law was to go into effect.

In May, Missouri passed the “Missouri Stands for the Unborn,” act, another attempt states have used to chip away at Roe v. Wade.

 Judge Howard Sachs wrote that “Missouri’s effort to ban abortions for nonviable pregnancies was clearly contrary to US Supreme Court precedent.”

“While federal courts should generally be very cautious before delaying the effect of State laws, the sense of caution may be mitigated when the legislation seems designed, as here, as a protest against Supreme Court decisions,” Sachs wrote.

Judge Sachs did leave parts of the law intact allowing the state to implement a ban on abortions “based solely on gender, race, or Down syndrome diagnosis, but noted that he expected that law would eventually be struck down as unlawful, too.”

Planned Parenthood requested a preliminary injunction on that ruling but the judge denied it.

Even without the eight-week ban on abortions, Missouri women face many challenges when seeking one. Women must wait 72 hours prior to the procedure and receive counseling meant to influence their decision in hopes they reconsider their right to choose. Currently, only one Planned Parenthood office exists in the state in St. Louis.

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