Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt has filed a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court to review an 8th Circuit Court decision striking down much of the landmark Missouri pro-life law passed in 2019. The 2019 law, known as HB 126 (Missouri Stands for the Unborn Act), would have prohibited abortion at eight weeks, when a fetal heartbeat can be detected. HB 126 also prohibited abortions performed solely upon a diagnosis of Down Syndrome. The 8th Circuit Appeals court, which hears appeals of federal cases from Missouri, recently ruled that much of HB 126 violates current Supreme Court precedent by imposing a ban on abortions before fetal viability (generally believed to be around 20-22 weeks when a fetus can survive outside the womb).
AG Schmitt is asking the court to consider whether the viability standard should be overruled. The U.S. Supreme Court typically receives more requests for review of cases than it grants. It has already granted review of a Mississippi law that bans abortions at 15 weeks, when a fetus can feel pain. A decision on that case is expected next summer. If the court upholds the Mississippi law, the decision would revive some provisions of HB 126 that the 8th Circuit invalidated.