A U.S. District Court issued an order to temporarily block parts of a law passed in Missouri that prevents abortion after the eighth week of gestation, one day before it was to go into effect.
However, provisions of the law that ban abortions for reasons of race, gender, or a medical diagnosis of potential Down’s Syndrome took effect on Aug. 28, according to The Hill.
“The various sections specifying prohibitions on abortions at various weeks prior to viability cannot be allowed to go into effect on August 28, as scheduled,” Judge Howard Sachs wrote, according to The Hill.
In the same ruling, Sachs explained that the law prohibiting abortion in Missouri after eight weeks’ gestation conflicts with the Supreme Court precedent that allows abortion until 24 weeks of pregnancy, when babies are considered viable.
The law, called “Missouri Represents the Unborn,” prohibits abortion in almost all cases, and makes no exceptions for rape and incest. It is considered one of the most comprehensive pro-life laws in the country.
An exception is given in the case of the mother having health problems, in which case an abortion could be performed before the 24th week.
Kristan Hawkins, of the anti-abortion group Students for Life, described Judge Sachs’s ruling as “a travesty of justice and an insult to the democratic process,” according to NPR.
Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, a pro-life group, criticized the judge’s decision, noting that legislators passed the law following the will of Missouri constituents, NPR reported.
Planned Parenthood, in turn, filed a lawsuit to block the law last month, and once the federal judge’s decision became known, the organization expressed its satisfaction with the ruling.
Pro-life activists in several U.S. states are asking the Supreme Court, which now has a conservative majority, to overturn the landmark 1973 ruling in Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion.