Missouri’s ban on abortions conducted after 8 weeks was blocked by a federal judge Tuesday, the day before it was supposed to take 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,” U.S. District Judge Howard Sachs wrote in his 11-page opinion.
Missouri’s law is one of many state abortion bans passed in 2019 looking to overturn the 1973 Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion nationwide. Federal judges have blocked similar laws in Arkansas and Ohio this summer as well.
The Missouri law would threaten any doctor with a 15-year jail sentence if they perform an abortion after eight weeks — before a woman may know she is pregnant.
While there is no exception for rape or incest, an abortion would be legal if the life of the mother would be severely injured or killed.
If Roe vs. Wade were overturned, the law would ban abortions outright, and if the 8-week ban continually gets blocked in court, it would institute 14-, 18- and 20-week bans to take its place.