By Gabriella Borter
(Reuters) – A panel of federal appeals court judges blocked a Missouri law on Wednesday banning abortions after eight weeks of pregnancy, saying the provisions of the law violated women’s constitutional right to terminate their pregnancies. .
The law is among more than a dozen gestational-age abortion bans that have been passed in recent years by Republican-led legislatures and challenged for their violation of the United States Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade, who said that women have the right to abort before the fetus is viable, between 24 and 28 weeks.
US District Judge Howard Sachs in Kansas City had temporarily halted the Missouri law just days before it took effect in August 2019, saying it would negatively affect the rights of Missouri women. Wednesday’s decision by a three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit confirmed Sachs’s ruling.
“Pre-feasibility abortion bans are categorically unconstitutional,” Judge Jane Kelly wrote in the opinion.
Abortion is one of the most divisive issues in the United States, where opponents declare it immoral on religious grounds and advocates of abortion rights say the option is necessary to guarantee women’s bodily autonomy.
The women’s health provider Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties union filed the lawsuit challenging the 2019 ban, which only made exceptions for abortions after eight weeks in medical emergencies. The law also prohibited women from seeking abortions because the fetus had Down syndrome.
“Today’s decision is a pivotal victory for Missourians,” said Yamelsie Rodriguez, president of Planned Parenthood Reproductive Health Services of the St. Louis region, in a statement.
Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt said in a statement that he was “disappointed” with the Eighth Circuit’s decision.
“We plan to seek a review in the Supreme Court,” he said. “I have never stopped fighting and I will never stop fighting to ensure that all life is protected.”
Last month, the Supreme Court signaled its willingness to weaken or overturn Roe v. Wade when he agreed to revise a Mississippi law that would prohibit abortions before the fetus can live outside the womb. A decision in that case is expected in 2022.
Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any responsibility for loss or damage as a result of reliance on information, including data, quotes, charts, and buy / sell signals contained on this website. Be fully informed about the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest forms of investment possible.