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Abortion Ban


Missouri bans a safe abortion procedure.  Mo. Ann. Stat. § 565.300 (Enacted 1999).

Missouri enacted a law which bans a safe, medically appropriate abortion procedure.  When the law was enacted, a lower court enjoined its enforcement.  However, in the wake of the Supreme Court's decision in Gonzales v. Carhart, the lower court found the law constitutional and enforceable and lifted the injunction.  Reprod. Health Servs. of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region, Inc. v. Nixon, 429 F.3d 803 (8th Cir. 2005), vacated by 127 S.Ct. 1610, remanded to No. 04-2909 (8th Cir. May 29, 2007).

Missouri's ban makes any abortion procedure that falls within a broad definition a felony, unless provided by a physician using procedures consistent with the usual and customary standards of medical practice to preserve the woman's life.  Mo. Ann. Stat. § 565.300 (Enacted 1999).  A lower state court held that Missouri's ban does not apply to a licensed physician's provision of:  (1) abortion prior to the time that a fetal heartbeat is detectable or abortion at any time when the fetus has no detectable heartbeat; (2) suction curettage; (3) vacuum aspiration; (4) hysterectomy abortion; (5) induction abortion; (6) hysterotomy abortion; and (7) dismemberment or nonintact dilation and evacuation abortion.  State v. Reprod. Health Servs. of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region, Inc., No. 004-00008 (Mo. Cir. Ct. Dec. 5, 2000).  Additionally, a state appellate court found that the ban could not be interpreted to include an exception to protect a woman's health.  State v. Reprod.Health Servs. of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region, Inc., 97 S.W.3d 54 (Mo. Ct. App. 2002).

There is also a Federal Abortion Ban, which applies nationwide regardless of state law.  The federal ban prohibits certain second-trimester abortion procedures and has no exception for a woman's health.  In April 2007, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the ban, making it the first time since Roe v. Wade that the court has upheld a ban on a previability abortion procedure.  Click here to read more about the Federal Abortion Ban.

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