Missouri did not suffer a total loss this week when a federal judge blocked part of a new law that prohibits abortions after an unborn baby’s heartbeat is detectable.
Other parts of the pro-life law, which went into effect Wednesday, still stand, including a measure that protects all unborn babies from abortion once Roe v. Wade is overturned, The Missouri Times reports.
The Missouri Stands For the Unborn Act (HB 126) includes multiple provisions to protect unborn babies from abortion. It 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 Down syndrome diagnosis, as well as a complete abortion ban once Roe v. Wade is overturned.
Other measures include increased medical malpractice coverage requirements for abortionists, a requirement that Missouri women who are referred out of state for an abortion still receive informed consent and an increase in tax credits for pregnancy centers.
Gov. Mike Parson signed the law in May, and some provisions took effect immediately. Others went into effect on Wednesday.
“With 90 percent of House Bill 126 becoming law today, Missouri has made clear to the nation that we stand for the unborn; we stand for life,” the bill sponsor, state Rep. Nick Schroer told The Missouri Times. “While we patiently await Judge Sachs’ ruling on the other 10 percent of this bill, and ultimately the ruling of the 8th Circuit Appellate Court thereafter, I am proud that the vast majority of HB 126, now law, will protect mothers, fathers, and babies in this great state starting today.”
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Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union only challenged specific parts of the law: protections for unborn babies from discriminatory sex-selection or disability-based abortions, and the incremental abortion bans starting at 8 weeks of pregnancy.
On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Howard Sachs issued a temporary injunction blocking the state from enforcing the incremental abortion bans. However, Sachs did not block the non-discrimination provisions, so they also now are in effect.
This is good news for unborn babies and mothers throughout the state.
The complete ban on abortions after Roe v. Wade is overturned is significant. Though it does not immediately have an effect, it prepares Missouri for the day when the U.S. Supreme Court allows states to protect unborn babies again.
The Roe decision crippled states’ ability to protect unborn babies, but many have renewed hope that the infamous abortion ruling will be overturned someday. When that happens, abortions will not immediately become illegal. Instead, states will have to take action to protect unborn babies. Missouri and a number of other states already have done that, ensuring that babies’ lives will be protected again in the future.
This week, Missouri also became one of just a few states that legally can protect unborn babies from discriminatory sex-selection and disability-based abortions.
Republican state Attorney General Eric Schmitt celebrated Sachs’ decision to allow that part of the law to take effect, the AP reports.
“As the father of a child with special needs, Attorney General Schmitt is particularly sensitive to suggestions that an unborn child who will have special needs is any lesser of a human being, and we’re glad that provisions relating to that issue were left in place in the judge’s ruling today,” spokesman Chris Nuelle said in a statement.
However, Colleen McNicholas, an abortionist and chief medical officer for Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region, said women should be allowed to abort unborn babies just because they have Down syndrome.
“Although we are grateful today’s ruling allows us to provide care to some Missourians, we will continue to defend the truth: EVERY reason to have an abortion is a valid reason,” McNicholas said.
Research indicates that unborn babies with Down syndrome are targeted for abortions at astronomical rates. The abortion rate for unborn babies diagnosed with Down syndrome is nearly 100 percent in Iceland, according to CBS News. Estimates put the rate at 77 percent in France and 67 percent in the United States, though some estimate it may be as high as 90 percent.
Missouri and every other state in the U.S. has been prohibited by the courts from protecting all unborn babies from abortion, but pro-life advocates are working with state lawmakers to reverse this horrific injustice and restore rights for the unborn.