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An activist during a 'Keep Abortion Legal' protest (file photo) SIPA USA/PA Images

US judge blocks state law that would ban abortion after eight weeks of pregnancy

A judge in Kansas City said the law violates a previous Supreme Court ruling.

A US COURT has temporarily suspended a new abortion law that was set to come into effect the following day in the state of Missouri.

Kansas City Judge Howard Sachs said the law, which would ban abortions after the eighth week of pregnancy, violates a Supreme Court ruling that guarantees the right to an abortion where a foetus is no longer viable.

“However formulated, the legislation on its face conflicts with the Supreme Court ruling that neither legislative nor judicial limits on abortion can be measured by specified weeks of development of a foetus,” he said.

However, the judge did not block the section of the law that would ban terminations on the basis of foetal sex, race or risk of Down syndrome.

Several US states have launched sweeping attempts to limit abortion rights by adopting laws that ban the practice early in a pregnancy.

The legislation is aimed at triggering legal challenges that would bring the question back to the Supreme Court, which legalised abortion in the landmark Roe v Wade case in 1973.

Reproductive health care group Planned Parenthood applauded the ruling on Twitter.

“What little abortion access in Missouri is left, will stay in place for the time being. In the meantime, we can’t ignore the part of this law that remains in place – which allows politicians to interfere with the patient-provider relationship,” the group’s acting president and CEO Alexis McGill wrote.

“We won’t stop fighting this in court.”

- © AFP 2019

Earlier this year, The Explainer looked at the new abortion legislation introduced in southern US states and the implications it might have on the entire country’s abortion laws. You can listen to it here:

The Explainer / SoundCloud

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