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The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday against Missouri’s heartbeat law, making it unenforceable.
Signed into law just over two years ago, Missouri's version includes some of the strongest provisions protecting the unborn.
Planned Parenthood immediately filed a lawsuit, which has now prevailed.
In 2015 the 8th Circuit also struck down another pro-life law.
Samuel H. Lee, director, Campaign Life Missouri: "The 8th Circuit earlier this year had also struck down an Arkansas law that banned abortions when the baby is diagnosed with Down syndrome. So this panel was bound by that earlier ruling."
Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, a lifelong Catholic, has a personal connection with the heartbeat legislation, which includes protection for children with Down syndrome.
He issued a statement saying his son, who suffers from a rare genetic disorder, "has shown me the inherent beauty and dignity in all life, especially those with special needs. While we're disappointed in the 8th Circuit's decision, their decision does provide an avenue for this case to be heard by the Supreme Court, and we plan to seek review."
Lee: "We need to persevere, be persistent, keep going; and of course, we have to elect strong, pro-life attorneys general in the states."
Pro-life activists in Missouri are hoping other groups will file friend-of-the-court briefs in the Supreme Court urging the Court to uphold the law.
Eric Schmitt is in a hot primary race for an open U.S. Senate seat. He is running against former governor Eric Greitens and newcomer Mark McCloskey. You can see Church Militant's interview with McCloskey on our website.