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Missouri abortion-restriction law faces uphill battle

September 30, 1999
By: Chris Pelikan
State Capital Bureau
Links: HB 427

JEFFERSON CITY -For the first time in months, there is nothing new to report on the partial-birth abortion saga that has dominated state politics since the legislative session ended in May.

After the abortion-restriction measure was passed by an overwhelming majority in the House and Senate, it was subsequently vetoed by Gov. Mel Carnahan. However, the House and Senate reaffirmed their faith in the bill with an override of the governor's veto in the recent veto session.

After the veto was overridden, a temporary restraing order was granted blocking the implementation of the bill as law for 10 days. Before the order had expired an agreement was reached by the state-appointed legal counsel, St.Louis based lawyer, Jordan Cherrick, and the legal team representing Missouri Planned Parenthood, the organization responsible for filing suit.

Per their arrangement, the law's implementation would be delayed for six months as the two sides prepared for a meeting in court next March. With appeals likely and the recent rulings of an appeals court which threw out similar abortion bans in Nebraska, Iowa and Arkansas, the fate of Missouri's ban on a certain form of late-term abortion is in question.

Proponents of the bill argue that the bill was formulated differently than its counterparts in other states because they observed the problems those bills were incurring.

No matter what happens in the March court battle, an appeal is extremely likely with an eventual date in front of the U.S. Supreme Court also a possibility.