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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: 479326

Reported Deaths: 9353
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison32779484
Hinds30924582
DeSoto30319353
Jackson23542341
Rankin21235366
Lee14803219
Madison14120271
Jones13327223
Forrest13078236
Lauderdale11501303
Lowndes10377176
Lamar10163130
Pearl River9008217
Lafayette8193137
Hancock7404111
Oktibbeha6909122
Washington6900150
Monroe6459159
Neshoba6441201
Warren6387163
Pontotoc623093
Panola6203125
Bolivar6072144
Marshall6068121
Union571386
Pike5574135
Alcorn533289
Lincoln5283131
George466072
Scott454796
Leflore4444140
Prentiss443377
Tippah442180
Itawamba441599
Adams4376116
Tate4327101
Simpson4313112
Wayne430766
Copiah429587
Yazoo419686
Covington413292
Sunflower4123104
Marion4073104
Leake395486
Coahoma391098
Newton367274
Grenada3543104
Stone350359
Tishomingo333288
Attala324286
Jasper313162
Winston303091
Clay294173
Chickasaw286265
Clarke279890
Calhoun263940
Holmes261387
Smith248048
Yalobusha219647
Tallahatchie217550
Walthall209958
Greene206845
Lawrence205732
Perry198553
Amite197651
Webster195042
Noxubee177739
Montgomery171654
Jefferson Davis167442
Carroll161437
Tunica150834
Benton141533
Kemper138039
Claiborne126134
Choctaw126026
Humphreys125937
Franklin116328
Quitman103426
Wilkinson101536
Jefferson87333
Sharkey62320
Issaquena1926
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 778549

Reported Deaths: 13665
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1105871747
Mobile704651206
Madison49152610
Baldwin35946479
Shelby35796302
Tuscaloosa33410532
Montgomery32906672
Lee22231216
Calhoun20791397
Morgan19605326
Etowah18837449
Marshall17465272
Houston16452368
St. Clair15233293
Limestone14376182
Cullman14348246
Elmore14241256
Lauderdale13298278
Talladega12699230
DeKalb12036233
Walker10430323
Autauga9568133
Blount9555152
Jackson9235146
Coffee8728169
Colbert8426179
Dale8410170
Escambia6526114
Tallapoosa6501172
Covington6396163
Chilton6293141
Russell598555
Franklin5719100
Chambers5315133
Marion4734115
Dallas4665182
Clarke457076
Pike456294
Geneva4315116
Winston417192
Lawrence4086108
Bibb401680
Barbour341968
Marengo323183
Butler314988
Monroe314652
Pickens300470
Randolph299955
Henry298356
Hale289383
Cherokee284652
Fayette275672
Washington244848
Crenshaw235168
Clay225163
Macon217657
Cleburne217149
Lamar192140
Conecuh179646
Lowndes170158
Coosa166432
Wilcox155736
Bullock147742
Perry136036
Sumter124136
Greene120142
Choctaw72826
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