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Planned Parenthood takes state to court over sweeping abortion law

Suit seeks to overturn sweeping law, which goes into effect Aug. 28

Planned Parenthood has filed a lawsuit challenging parts of a sweeping abortion bill recently passed in Missouri.

Reproductive Health Services of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region, the American Civil Liberties Union and others filed a federal suit in U.S. District Court in Jefferson City against portions of HB 126, also known as the Missouri Stands for the Unborn Act. Plantiffs have asked the court to overturn the law, which will go into effect Aug. 28, describing it as “unconstitutional.”

The law would place further restrictions on abortions in the state, including a ban on abortions after eight weeks of pregnancy. The law also has a ban on abortions at later gestations, if the eight-week ban is struck down by the courts. Other provisions of the new law include a “trigger ban” that would ban all abortions in Missouri if Roe vs. Wade is overturned; a ban on abortions for reasons including Down syndrome, race or gender; and a recognition that God is the author of life and that Missouri is a “sanctuary of life” that protects pregnant women and unborn children.

A provision to require a second custodial parent to be notified when a minor is seeking an abortion went into affect immediately when Gov. Mike Parson signed the bill in May.

The lawsuit challenges portions of the bill that would ban abortions at eight, 14, 18 and 20 weeks, as well as abortions based on race or sex of the unborn child or a diagnosis of Down syndrome.

“We’re grateful for state lawmakers who passed this bill to protect unborn children and their mothers, and we know that Attorney General Eric Schmitt will aggressively defend the law,” said Deacon Sam Lee, a pro-life lobbyist with Campaign Life Missouri.

Meanwhile, promoters of a referendum petition that seeks to overturn the abortion law are still waiting for permission from the Secretary of State to collect signatures. More than 100,000 signatures (five percent of voters in five of Missouri’s eight Congressional districts) would need to be collected by Aug. 28.

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