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Judge blocks Missouri 8-week abortion ban

A federal judge on Tuesday blocked a Missouri ban...

Posted: Aug 27, 2019 2:39 PM
Updated: Aug 27, 2019 8:15 PM

A federal judge on Tuesday blocked a Missouri ban on abortions after eight weeks from going into effect.

'The various sections specifying prohibitions on abortions at various weeks prior to viability cannot be allowed to go into effect on August 28, as scheduled,' writes US District Judge Howard Sachs in an 11-page opinion.

'However formulated, the legislation on its face conflicts with the Supreme Court ruling that neither legislative or judicial limits on abortion can be measured by specified weeks or development of a fetus; instead, 'viability' is the sole test for a State's authority to prohibit abortions where there is no maternal health issue,' Sachs wrote.

Tuesday's ruling comes after two other federal judges blocked similar abortion restrictions in Arkansas and Ohio earlier this summer, as a slew of state laws looking to challenge Roe v. Wade, the 1973 landmark ruling legalizing abortion nationwide, make their way through the courts.

The Missouri law in question would penalize medical professionals who perform abortions after eight weeks into a pregnancy -- before many women know that they are pregnant, and well before the 24-week viability standard established by Roe -- with up to 15 years in prison. The law does not include exceptions for instances of rape or incest, only for instances of 'medical emergency,' such to prevent a pregnant woman's death or 'substantial and irreversible physical impairment.'

Alexis McGill Johnson, acting president and CEO of Planned Parenthood, praised the ruling and vowed to continue to fight the law in court.

'Today's decision blocks a harmful law that bans abortion before many know they're pregnant,' she wrote in a statement. 'What little abortion access in Missouri is left, will stay in place for the time being.'

'Let's be very clear: these severe restrictions on abortion access do nothing to address disability rights or discrimination,' Johnson added. 'They only stigmatize abortion and shame the people who seek that care.'

Republican Gov. Mike Parson praised the court decision to uphold sections of the law preventing abortions based on sex, race or Down syndrome, which are separate from the eight-week ban struck down by the judge. He said the state would continue to argue its case on the ban.

'We sent a strong message that Missouri stands for life, protection of women's health, and advocates for the unborn with the passage and signing of HB 126,' Parson said in a statement. 'We are encouraged that today's court ruling upheld the anti-discrimination provisions of the law, and we look forward to litigating the remaining issues.'

'As Governor, I am honored to lead a state that is committed to standing up for those without a voice and will continue to fight for the unborn,' he added.

Planned Parenthood, the American Civil Liberties Union and Paul, Weiss -- the law firm that argued in support of legalizing same-sex marriage in a landmark Supreme Court case -- filed the case last month.

The law would ban abortion outright should the Supreme Court overturn Roe. It also includes bans on abortion at 14, 18 and 20 weeks, which could go into effect if a court finds the eight-week ban invalid.

This story has been updated.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 161516

Reported Deaths: 3916
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto10863104
Hinds10705207
Harrison7624114
Jackson6774131
Rankin6303114
Lee557798
Madison5311112
Forrest405587
Jones388589
Lauderdale3754149
Lafayette347358
Washington3421108
Lamar310350
Lowndes265168
Oktibbeha262763
Bolivar254686
Panola243754
Neshoba2333124
Marshall229451
Leflore216492
Monroe216278
Pontotoc213631
Lincoln203267
Sunflower198156
Warren189559
Tate187251
Union179626
Copiah176141
Pike170860
Pearl River168170
Itawamba166637
Scott166030
Yazoo164441
Alcorn161529
Coahoma160044
Prentiss159034
Simpson156954
Grenada149545
Adams148852
Leake146244
George138326
Covington137642
Holmes136861
Tippah135230
Winston134326
Hancock132842
Wayne127424
Attala126836
Marion126548
Tishomingo116444
Newton114929
Chickasaw112632
Tallahatchie101227
Clay98527
Clarke96954
Jasper90023
Stone85115
Calhoun82413
Montgomery80726
Walthall80430
Carroll78115
Lawrence76814
Smith76516
Yalobusha75728
Noxubee74817
Perry70127
Greene66023
Tunica64019
Amite61815
Jefferson Davis60818
Claiborne59716
Humphreys56119
Benton51018
Quitman5107
Kemper50019
Webster49514
Wilkinson42522
Jefferson39012
Franklin3866
Choctaw3757
Sharkey33517
Issaquena1254
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 264199

Reported Deaths: 3831
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson35310515
Mobile20626372
Madison14521153
Tuscaloosa13897173
Montgomery12844246
Shelby1127878
Baldwin9501138
Lee807167
Morgan740555
Etowah704870
Marshall695358
Calhoun6939126
Houston559140
DeKalb521843
Cullman490650
St. Clair466557
Limestone462446
Lauderdale452257
Elmore440070
Walker3914112
Talladega386157
Jackson373523
Colbert347948
Blount323146
Autauga294542
Franklin265534
Coffee260023
Dale247355
Dallas236832
Chilton235445
Covington234834
Russell23433
Escambia208832
Tallapoosa192692
Chambers189154
Clarke165422
Pike165215
Marion150236
Winston146325
Lawrence139936
Pickens129720
Geneva12929
Marengo127824
Bibb127038
Barbour121729
Butler121142
Cherokee108224
Randolph108022
Fayette102216
Hale102132
Clay95527
Washington94222
Henry9097
Monroe85311
Lowndes82930
Cleburne80914
Macon77522
Crenshaw73830
Lamar7348
Conecuh73215
Bullock71120
Perry7037
Wilcox65918
Sumter60122
Greene45818
Choctaw43620
Coosa3854
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