Judges on the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals have ruled that Missouri cannot enforce its abortion law, which bans abortion after the eighth week of pregnancy and protects preborn babies from being aborted simply for having a condition like Down syndrome.
Missouri’s Attorney General Eric Schmitt said in a statement, “My son Stephen (who has epilepsy and autism) 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.”
In addition to protecting babies, the Missouri Stands for the Unborn Act also would have enforced severe penalties of up to five to 15 years in prison on abortionists who perform the procedure after the eight-week cut off.
According to U.S. District Judge Howard Sachs, the bill was always likely to fail as it was considered “unconstitutional.” Similar pieces of legislation, usually referred to as heartbeat bills, have also faced fierce opposition.
In its arguments, instead of focusing on the eight-week aspect of the bill, Missouri’s Solicitor General John Sauer advocated on behalf of the provision that bans abortion if the preborn baby has Down syndrome.
Sauer said, “(That there was an) epidemic of abortions targeting children with Down syndrome for elimination solely because of their disability.”
A lawyer for Planned Parenthood had a different interpretation, stating that aborting for reasons of Down syndrome is not “unconstitutional” per the Supreme Court, though the court has never ruled on this topic.
NBC News also reports that, “doctors won’t take the risk of losing their medical license for aborting a fetus with Down syndrome, regardless of whether the condition was the reason the woman sought the procedure.”
This is inaccurate. Many parents who’ve been given prenatal diagnoses of Down syndrome or other congenital conditions have often reported feeling pressure from doctors to have an abortion. One woman was told by her doctor that her preborn child with Down syndrome would only live about three years, when life expectancy at the time was at least 50 years.
For Planned Parenthood’s attorney to argue otherwise is a denial of the facts.
Needless to say, the abortion business and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which helped with the lawsuit, celebrated the judges’ decision.
The CEO of Reproductive Health Services of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis region said the ruling is “a critical victory for Missourians.”
“For now, we celebrate our continued ability to provide safe, legal abortion at the last remaining clinic in Missouri,” Rodriguez said in a statement.
In many ways, Missouri has been ground zero from some of the most intense pro-life fights. Over a year ago, it was even close to getting the state’s last abortion clinic in St. Louis, a Planned Parenthood, to shut down.
Unfortunately, the abortion business is revamping its efforts in the state by expanding across the Mississippi River from St. Louis to Illinois, by building one of its mega abortion clinics. Women interested in an abortion can call the Missouri location, where their information is taken and then they are sent to Illinois for the abortion.
It’s a rather shady operation, but one that keeps the money flowing and is designed to help shield the abortion business from other pro-life efforts in Missouri.
The issue of Down syndrome and abortion keeps coming up in bills and court cases, and one that will likely make its way up to the Supreme Court again where, hopefully, these vulnerable preborn babies can one day be fully protected under the law.
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