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How US Supreme Court Ruling On Texas Law Impacts Women

In this June 4, 2019, file photo, anti-abortion advocates gather outside the Planned Parenthood clinic in St. Louis. A federal appeals court panel is weighing the fate of a sweeping Missouri abortion law, including a provision that prohibits a woman from having an abortion because the fetus has down syndrome.
Jeff Roberson
In this June 4, 2019, file photo, anti-abortion advocates gather outside the Planned Parenthood clinic in St. Louis. A federal appeals court panel is weighing the fate of Missouri's 2019 sweeping abortion law that outlaws the procedure after eight weeks.

The court's decision has legal experts watching for a wave of states to mimic the Texas law, including Missouri.

In a 5-4 vote the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a request for an injunction on Texas legislation allowing anyone to file suit against any person facilitating an abortion past the sixth week of pregnancy.

The Texas law conflicts with the existing precedent set by the Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey that recognizes a woman's right to an abortion up until a fetus can survive outside of the womb.

As Amy Howe, cofounder of SCOTUSblog explains "That's not a coincidence. This law was enacted with the idea that . . . this would press the justices to try to overturn Roe versus Wade."

Meanwhile, House Bill 126 was passed in Missouri and signed into law in 2019. Immediately challenged, the case now comes down to a hearing before all the justices of the Eighth Circuit Court on September 21.

The Missouri law restricts abortion at eight weeks with no exceptions for rape or incest and forbids the procedure if the sole reason for it is the possibility of a child born with down syndrome.

As Dr. Colleen McNicholas notes, built into HB 125 is language that "if the court finds that eight weeks is unconstitutional the law asks the court to consider the next arbitrary gestational age" included in the bill of 14, 18 then 20 weeks.

McNicholas continues, "Pregnant people, people looking to have abortion, who need abortion, are the only people who can decide if it's the right thing for them."

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