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Missouri Attorney General Prevails on Appeal in Reinstating Down Syndrome Abortion Ban

Jul 11, 2022, 12:34 PM by AG Schmitt
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – On Friday evening, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit issued a judgment, vacating and remanding two separate district court rulings that enjoined HB126’s ban on abortions based solely on a pre-natal Down syndrome diagnosis, and based on certain gestational age restrictions. The Missouri Attorney General’s Office argued the case in front of the en banc Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals in September of 2021, and has now prevailed. Missouri’s ban on abortions based solely on a pre-natal Down syndrome diagnosis is now allowed to take effect.
“Individuals with Down syndrome bring joy, love, and light to those around them and society as a whole. They are daughters and sons, sisters and brothers and friends. They hold jobs, play sports, and are involved in their communities. They make our world a better place,” said Attorney General Schmitt. “A pre-natal Down syndrome diagnosis should not be a death sentence, and because of our efforts, it no longer is. I’m proud to have led this fight to protect individuals with Down syndrome and uphold the sanctity of life.”
 
Missouri House Bill 126 contains a provision that outlaws abortions that are based solely on a pre-natal Down syndrome diagnosis. In September of 2019, a federal district court enjoined and halted the enforcement of that provision.
 
On September 21, 2021, the Missouri Attorney General’s Office argued in front of the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals en banc, seeking to reverse those injunctions and allow the ban to take effect.
 
On Friday, July 8, 2022, the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed and remanded the district court’s rulings, allowing the ban on abortions based solely on a pre-natal Down syndrome diagnosis to take effect.
 
Prior to the arguments in September 2021, the Missouri Attorney General’s Office spoke to families of those with Down syndrome about what their loved one with Down syndrome means to them: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6G-Iz9SF18I