Judge blocks Missouri ban on Down syndrome-based abortions

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A federal judge is blocking a Missouri law banning abortions based on signs of Down syndrome.

U.S. District Judge Howard Sachs temporarily put the ban on hold Friday as a lawsuit against it plays out in court.

Abortions motivated solely by tests indicating the possibility of Down syndrome were outlawed in Missouri for roughly a month this year under a sweeping new anti-abortion law.

Sachs has temporarily blocked most of the law from taking effect, including stopping a ban on abortions at or after eight weeks of pregnancy.

He initially allowed bans on abortions based on race, sex or possible Down syndrome to be enforced. But he changed his mind Friday, ordering that Down syndrome-based abortions can continue for now.

Race- and sex-based abortions are still not allowed in Missouri.