Missouri petitions Supreme Court to hear case on Down syndrome abortion laws


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt petitioned the Supreme Court of the United States Thursday to review Missouri’s law prohibiting abortions of unborn children with Down syndrome in his lawsuit against Planned Parenthood.

Schmitt’s son has Down syndrome.

“My son Stephen has shown me the inherent beauty in life, and he brings immense joy and love to his loved ones and those around him. Since taking office, I’ve fought to protect all life, including the unborn. A prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome should not be a death sentence,” Schmitt said. “It’s my hope that the Supreme Court will grant our petition for writ of certiorari and hear this critically important case.”

The petition asks the following questions of the Supreme Court:

  • Whether Missouri’s restriction on abortions performed solely because the unborn child may have Down syndrome is categorically invalid under Casey and Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973), or whether it is a valid, reasonable regulation of abortion that seeks to prevent the elimination of children with Down syndrome through eugenic abortion?
  • Whether Missouri’s restrictions on abortions performed after eight, fourteen, eighteen, and twenty weeks’ gestational age are categorically invalid, or whether they are valid, reasonable regulations of abortion that advance important state interests?
  • Whether the “penumbral” right to abortion recognized in Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973), and partially reaffirmed in Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833 (1992), should be overruled?

The petition said society no longer views those with Down syndrome as “mere blobs.” It also says, “but despite these advances, deeply entrenched forces within our medical establishment continue to treat unborn children with Down syndrome as ‘mere blobs.”

The document also said Missouri and at least 11 other states have laws that restrict these abortions.

Click here to read the full petition.

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