Missouri Abortion Ban Struck Down
8th Circuit US Court of Appeals Strikes Down Unconstitutional Missouri Abortion Ban Law Passed in 1999
Reproductive Health Services of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region (RHS of PPSLR) applauded the ruling issued today by the 8th Circuit US Court of Appeals in the case, RHS of PPSLR v. Nixon, a lawsuit challenging a 1999 Missouri abortion ban that was vetoed by the late Governor Carnahan and enacted through a legislative override.
"Missouri's abortion ban law is unconstitutional because it fails to provide a needed exception and protection for when the health of a woman may be at risk, said Paula Gianino, President and CEO of PPSLR. "Every court in the country, including the US Supreme Court, has been clear about the need for exceptions to protect both the health and life of a woman; these are two common-sense and much needed protections, especially in the event of a medical crisis or medical emergency that may occur during a pregnancy."
The Missouri law is similar to a federal abortion ban that was struck down by the US Supreme Court in 2000, Carhart v. Stenberg, and similar to a law passed by Congress and signed into law by President Bush in 2003. Three federal courts and the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals have ruled that the 2003 federal abortion ban is unconstitutional because, among other things, it lacks an exception for protecting a woman's health.
"Today's ruling should end this long, serious and expensive litigation," said Gianino. "Women's lives and health must be protected, and physicians must always be able to choose the very best and most safe medical treatment for their patients, especially in cases of medical emergencies."
PPSLR is St. Louis' oldest and largest provider of reproductive health care services and information serving more than 33,000 women, men and teens in the St. Louis region each year.