The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals today in a Missouri case refused to lift a lower court injunction against a Missouri law that banned abortions after eight weeks of pregnancy and also bans abortions following diagnosis of Down syndrome in a fetus.
The decision affects Arkansas because it is in the 8th Circuit. The legislature recently passed a total ban on abortions in Arkansas, from conception. Arkansas also has a law preventing abortion on account of a Down syndrome finding. That law has already been enjoined, a decision upheld by the 8th Circuit and on appeal by Attorney General Leslie Rutledge to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The 8th Circuit cited its earlier rulings in an Arkansas case on a 12-week ban. In all these instances, the states have banned abortion choice before viability of a fetus, not currently allowed under Supreme Court precedent of almost a half-century.
Judge David Stras dissented on a portion of the ruling. He would have overturned the injunction against enforcement of the Down Syndrom-related ban, saying sufficient evidence hadn’t been presented that women had been harmed by a requirement that abortion was banned if it was sought solely on account of a diagnosis of the syndrome.