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Court Blocks Eight-week Abortion Ban In Missouri

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A federal court in Missouri has partially blocked the state from enforcing a law passed earlier this year banning nearly all abortions after eight weeks of pregnancy. The U.S. District Court judge in the Western District of Missouri granted a preliminary injunction to the law the day before it taking effect.

Judge Howard Sachs said he finds Missouri's law likely unconstitutional on the merits. But he allowed a provision blocking patients from seeking an abortion based on race, gender, or Down syndrome diagnosis to take effect on Wednesday.

The lawsuit was filed by Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union. They argued that Missouri's law was unconstitutional and against the Supreme Court's 1973 ruling in Roe v. Wade case, which guarantees the constitutional right to an abortion.

Missouri is one of eight states that requires doctors to interrogate patients why they are making the medical decision to terminate pregnancy. The court indicated openness to reviewing the issue again on a renewed motion.

A law enacted by Governor Mike Parson in May imposes a series of abortion bans and restrictions designed to make it impossible for patients to access abortion.

"With only one abortion provider left in the state, access is left hanging by a thread,", ACLU said in a statement.

President Donald Trump had re-iterated his anti-abortion policy in May.

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