Planned Parenthood will be in court Monday to urge a federal judge to block the new heartbeat law in Missouri.
The abortion group runs the only abortion facility in the state. If the law takes effect on Wednesday as planned, it would protect most unborn babies from abortion.
Reuters reports attorneys with Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union are slated to argue their case Monday in front of Judge Howard Sachs in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri.
In their complaint, the pro-abortion groups argued that the law would ban “the vast majority of pre-viability abortions” and prevent women from accessing “medical care,” the AP reports. They asked Sachs for a preliminary injunction to block the state from enforcing the law.
“Without this relief, the bans will have a devastating effect on patients seeking access to abortion in the state,” lawyers wrote in the complaint.
The Missouri Stands For the Unborn Act (HB 126) prohibits abortions after 8 weeks, once an unborn baby’s heartbeat is detectable. However, it also includes incremental stages to ban abortions after 14 weeks, 18 weeks or 20 weeks if the earlier bans are overturned. In addition, it requires that both parents be notified before an underage girl has an abortion. It also includes a ban on discriminatory abortions based on an unborn baby’s sex, race or disability, as well as a complete abortion ban once Roe v. Wade is overturned. Gov. Mike Parson signed it into law in May.
Lawyers for the state said Missouri wants to protect unborn babies’ lives as well as women’s.
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However, lawyers with the ACLU claimed the law will “force” women to have their babies.
“As a result, some patients will be prevented from obtaining abortion care entirely, and be forced to carry their pregnancies to term against their will_for some, even in the face of significant health risks that nevertheless would not qualify as a ‘medical emergency’ under the Bans,” they wrote.
Pro-life advocates repeatedly have debunked claims that abortions are safe and necessary for women.
The ACLU filed the lawsuit earlier this month after its attempt at referendum petition to overturn the law failed.
According to the Missouri health department, 3,903 abortions were done in the state in 2017, and 119 of those were babies killed after 20 weeks.
Polling released earlier this year by the Susan B. Anthony List found that 82 percent of Missouri voters – including 66 percent of Democrats, 83 percent of independents, 83 percent of women, and 61 percent of self-described pro-choice voters – support a law prohibiting late-term abortions (only 18 percent support allowing late-term abortions).
The ACLU, Planned Parenthood and other pro-abortion groups are involved in similar lawsuits in Georgia, Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana and Ohio.