Missouri AG requests Supreme Court review of blocked abortion law

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt (R) requested Thursday that the Supreme Court review a state law that widely restricts abortions after it was blocked by a federal appeals court.

Schmitt, who is running for the U.S. Senate in 2022, submitted a petition asking the highest court to weigh in on the law.

In 2019, the Missouri Legislature passed the law in question, which outlaws abortions after eight weeks of pregnancy as well as abortions conducted “solely because of a prenatal diagnosis” indicating a child might have Down syndrome.

Doctors who violate the law, which has not gone into effect due to legal challenges, could face up to 15 years in prison.

The attorney general in his petition cited a “circuit split” on court decisions over legislation prohibiting abortions based on the prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome. He called on the Supreme Court to reverse lower court decisions that labeled these laws as “categorically unconstitutional.”

The petition follows a ruling from the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last month that blocked the Missouri law, citing that it amounted to a ban instead of a restriction on abortions. The federal appeals court upheld a lower court’s ruling prohibiting the state from enforcing the law.

Trending: The petition comes as Republicans in several states have pushed to pass abortion restrictions in the hopes of getting the conservative majority in the Supreme Court to override the landmark reproductive rights case Roe v. Wade.