US Federal Appeal Court blocks Missouri abortion law

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A federal appeals court panel on Wednesday blocked Missouri from enforcing a sweeping state abortion law that bans the procedures at or after eight weeks of pregnancy.

A three-judge panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis heard arguments in September in the legal battle over the 2019 law.

The measure also would prohibit a woman from having an abortion because the fetus has Down syndrome.

Yamelsie Rodríguez, president and CEO of Reproductive Health Services of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region, called the ruling “a critical victory for Missourians.”

Republican Attorney General Eric Schmitt said in a statement that his son, Stephen, who has a rare genetic condition, autism and epilepsy, had shown him the inherent beauty and dignity in all life, especially those with special needs.

The lawsuit was filed by Reproductive Health Services, which operates the St. Louis abortion clinic, and the American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU.

U.S. District Judge Howard Sachs said at the time of his ruling last year that Planned Parenthood and the ACLU would likely succeed in their lawsuit alleging that the law is unconstitutional.

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