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Eighth Circuit Affirms Block on Missouri’s Abortion Ban

Paul, Weiss and co-counsel Planned Parenthood and the ACLU secured a major victory against Missouri’s most recent abortion bans, when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit upheld an August 2019 preliminary injunction blocking the laws from going into effect.

The laws, which would have gone into effect on August 28, 2019, prohibited abortions at or after 8, 14, 18, and 20 weeks into a pregnancy, and any abortions based on a Down syndrome diagnosis. Violations of the law carried the threat of criminal prosecution and civil penalties. Paul, Weiss, along with co-counsel at Planned Parenthood and the ACLU, secured the preliminary injunction nearly two years ago.

The Eighth Circuit rejected Missouri’s argument that the laws were mere regulations and not categorical bans on abortions. The court accordingly held that they are barred by the Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade, which prohibits states from imposing outright bans on a woman’s right to abortion care before a fetus is viable.

The win was widely reported on by The Wall Street Journal, Reuters, NBC and many other news outlets.

The Paul, Weiss team includes litigation partners Claudia Hammerman, who argued the appeal on September 24, 2020, Jane O’Brien and Craig Benson, and associates Kelly Garcia, Daniel Klein, Melina Meneguin Layerenza, Allison Penfield and Amanda Sterling.

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