Abortion rights groups including Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union are suing the state of Missouri over its eight-week abortion ban, which they argue is unconstitutional.
The lawsuit by ACLU, Planned Parenthood and law firm Paul, Weiss against Republican Governor Mike Parson and other state officials was filed in federal court in Missouri on Tuesday evening.
“By imposing a ban on abortion prior to viability, the 8-Week Ban violates Plaintiffs’ patients’ rights to privacy and liberty guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution,” the groups wrote.
The challenge is the latest one by abortion rights supporters filed against states restricting the right to abortion, including Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana and Ohio.
The Missouri law was signed into law by the governor in May and is set to take effect at the end of August. Under it, medical professionals performing abortions after the eighth week of pregnancy could face up to 15 years in prison, CNN informs.
The law only includes an exception for instances of “medical emergency” when the mother’s life is in danger, but it still bans abortions in cases of rape or incest. The law would ban abortions altogether in case the Roe v. Wade ruling from 1973 is overturned by the Supreme Court.
Should a court find the eight-week ban invalid, the law also includes bans on abortion at 14, 18 and 20 weeks.
The plaintiffs wrote that in the context of Roe v. Wade, “the Bans therefore outright forbid patients from exercising their constitutionally protected right to a pre-viability abortion in Missouri, in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.”
The acting president and CEO of Planned Parenthood, Alexis McGill Johnson, stressed that the organization will not yield under pressure from politicians trying to take away “our access to safe, legal abortion — not in Missouri, and not anywhere else.”
She further pointed out that the abortion bans put women’s lives at risk, adding that the organization will continue fighting to ensure that every person has access to reproductive health care.