The Missouri Attorney General’s Office today argued in front of the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals en banc to defend Missouri’s law that prohibits abortions based solely on a pre-natal down syndrome diagnosis. The Office presented oral arguments to the Court earlier this morning in the case Planned Parenthood v. Eric Schmitt.
In a press conference following the argument, Attorney General Schmitt stated, “Those with Down syndrome and other diagnoses bring unique joy, unconditional love and beauty to our world. They are daughters and sons, sisters and brothers and friends. They hold jobs, play sports, are involved in their communities … they are individuals, who make our world a better place simply by walking on the earth and being amongst us.”
Attorney General Schmitt finished his remarks with, “If people with Down syndrome diagnoses are eliminated entirely from our society, the loss to our nation, our communities and families would be immeasurable. I’m going to fight that battle every day and am hopeful that the Court will agree.”
In 2019 a federal judge left in tact, and then later blocked, the provision of HB126 that prohibited abortions based solely on a pre-natal Down syndrome diagnosis. The Missouri Attorney General’s Office appealed to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, and that appeal was denied. However, in a rare move, the Court granted an en banc
review, and oral arguments in that appeal occurred earlier today.
The Attorney General’s Office also produced a short video with parents and family members of those with down syndrome: https://youtu.be/6G-Iz9SF18I
Attorney General Schmitt’s full remarks can be found here: https://ago.mo.gov/docs/default-source/press-releases/20210921095445457.pdf?sfvrsn=683b4979_2
Video from the press conference can be found here: https://youtu.be/O6OR05mHKIo