Missouri Stands for the Unborn

Tom Porter

Alyssa Buchheit, Copy Editor

On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Howard Sachs temporarily blocked a new Missouri ban on abortions at or after eight weeks that was supposed to go into effect on Wednesday; however, the law’s “non-discrimination” section banning abortions on the basis of race, sex or Down Syndrome was not included in the block.

The Missouri Stands for the Unborn Act, as it has been dubbed, is currently being challenged in court by Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri. They have both filed a lawsuit, arguing that the law goes against the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortions in the United States.

The current Missouri law includes four separate bans of abortion at eight, 14, 18 and 20 weeks of gestation. If the eight-week ban is struck down by a court, then the less-restrictive bans would go into effect, starting with the 14-week ban and so on. The law includes exceptions only for a medical emergency where a pregnant woman faces death or “substantial and irreversible impairment.” It also includes an outright ban on abortions if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.

If the Missouri law goes into effect, abortion providers would face five to 15 years in prison and the loss of their medical license if they violated any of the age bans. Proponents of the law urged Sachs to allow the law to go into effect, arguing that Planned Parenthood does not have the legal standing to challenge on behalf of its patients because they and all abortion providers only have a transitory relationship with their patients.

While the pro-life community is saddened by the news of the temporary block, the future for babies in Missouri looks to be brightening. With abortions based on a baby’s race, sex or Down Syndrome successfully banned, the state of Missouri is actively seeking to continue restricting legal abortions.