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Missouri AG asks Supreme Court to hear abortion restrictions

July 1, 2021 GMT

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to consider an appeal of a ruling striking down new restrictions on when abortions can occur.

Schmitt said he filed a request Thursday for the nation’s highest court to hear arguments on a 2019 state law that bans abortions as soon as eight weeks into pregnancy and also prohibits abortions based on a Down syndrome diagnosis.

A three-judge panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last month upheld a lower court injunction prohibiting Missouri from enforcing the provisions.

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Schmitt’s court filing says the Supreme Court should consider whether Missouri’s restrictions are “reasonable regulations on abortion” and should also use the case to decide whether to overturn its Roe v. Wade precedent granting a right to abortion.

Legislators who helped draft the Missouri law had said it was meant to withstand court challenges instead of spark them. It included a provision stating that if the eight-week ban was struck down, then a series of less-restrictive abortion limits would kick in at 14, 18 or 20 weeks. But the courts blocked enforcement of all those limits.