JEFFERSON CITY, Missouri (LifeSiteNews) – A federal appeals court threw out two district court rulings, reinstating a Missouri ban on abortions of babies with Down syndrome.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit ruled to uphold House Bill 126, which bans abortions based solely on a prenatal Down syndrome diagnosis, according to a July 11 press release from Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt’s office.
“Individuals with Down syndrome bring joy, love, and light to those around them and society as a whole,” Schmitt said. “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,” he added.
“A prenatal 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,” Schmitt continued.
The pro-life Charlotte Lozier Institute estimates that abortion reduces the Down syndrome community in the United States by 30%. It has been estimated that 90% of babies in Great Britain who receive a Down syndrome diagnosis are aborted, 65% in Norway, virtually 100% in Iceland, and 95% in Spain.
The Missouri law was originally passed in 2019, but subsequently challenged by abortion provider Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union, who argued that it violated Roe v. Wade. However, the Supreme Court’s June decision to overturn Roe v. Wade nullified this argument.
“This was expected in light of the Dobbs decision, but it is very welcome, nonetheless,” Samuel H. Lee of Campaign Life Missouri told LifeNews.
“Pro-abortion critics said HB 126 was unconstitutional, but the latest ruling … demonstrates that persistence by pro-life lawmakers, lawyers and activists can end lethal discrimination of children in the womb,” he added.
In addition to blocking abortions based on a Down syndrome diagnosis, House Bill 126 protects unborn babies in most circumstances. According to Lee, the Friday ruling will also mean that all provisions of the 2019 law will take effect.
Many U.S. states, including Missouri, have outlawed abortion in the wake of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, largely owing to “trigger laws” set up in anticipation of the historic decision.
Approximately ten states have virtually banned all abortions while many others have drastically limited access to abortion as more states follow suit. As LifeSiteNews reported, clinics have ceased abortions in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, South Dakota, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. Abortions initially stopped in Kentucky, Utah, and Louisiana but have resumed due to recent court orders.
Meanwhile, pro-life pregnancy centers and Catholic churches have faced violence, vandalism and even arson in the wake of the pro-life ruling. The violence appears to have no clear end in sight, with the Department of Homeland Security predicting that terrorist attacks could continue “for weeks” after the Supreme Court’s overturn of Roe v. Wade.