Attorney General Schmitt asks U.S. Supreme Court to review a lower court’s decision to allow abortions of children with Down syndrome

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt asked the United States Supreme Court on Thursday to review Missouri’s law prohibiting abortions of unborn children with Down syndrome.

Schmitt did so through filing a petition for a writ of certiorari in Schmitt v. Reproductive Health Services of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region.

“In the face of this genocidal crisis, Missouri and at least 11 other States have enacted laws restricting the eugenic abortion of the disabled, especially those with Down syndrome,” the petition read. “In 2019, this Court declined to review the Seventh Circuit’s decision invalidating one of these laws—Indiana’s—because no Circuit split yet existed. Since then, a clear and well-developed split of authority has emerged.”

Schmitt has a son with Down syndrome and has continually fought to outlaw abortions on the basis of a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome. He is asking the Supreme Court to resolve a circuit split on such laws, and to reverse a decision by a lower court that deemed banning these types of abortions as “categorically unconstitutional”. 

“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,” Schmitt said. “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.”

Per a press release from the Attorney General’s office, the specifics of what Schmitt has asked the Supreme Court to review are below:

The petition, which was filed earlier today, presents three questions for the Supreme Court’s review:

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?

Schmitt has previously led a 22-state coalition supporting a similar law in Arkansas to ban abortions on the basis of a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome.

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