Federal judge blocks MS abortion law

22 March, 2018, 02:08 | Author: Austin Daniel
  • Phil Bryant

The law, which makes abortions after 15 weeks illegal, only allows exceptions in cases in which the mother's life is in danger or there is a fetal abnormality that is "incompatible with life". It also asked the court to block the ban, a particularly urgent request because a woman was scheduled to have a 15-week abortion Tuesday afternoon.

Dr. Sacheen Carr-Ellis, in a sworn statement, says she'll have to stop providing abortions to women past the 15 week ban, or else lose her MS medical license, as House Bill 1510 requires.

A federal judge on Tuesday temporarily blocked Mississippi's new abortion law - the most restrictive in the country - saying it's likely to be found unconstitutional. Carr-Ellis says women shouldn't be forced to carry their pregnancies to term against their wills or leave the state to obtain abortions.

Reeves said in his order that the MS law "places viability at 15 weeks - about two months earlier than where the medical consensus places it".

The law goes into effect immediately.

The Jackson Women's Health Organization was assisted by the pro-abortion Center of Reproductive Rights in filing its lawsuit. It says that it performed 78 abortions past 15 weeks in 2017, or about 3% of Mississippi's 2,500 abortions previous year.

The law and responding challenge set up a confrontation sought by abortion opponents, who are hoping federal courts will ultimately prohibit abortions before a fetus is viable.

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The suit asserts: "Under decades of United States Supreme Court precedent, the state of MS can not ban abortion prior to viability, regardless of what exceptions are provided to the ban".

The Institute has been particularly critical of efforts underway in the United States by various state authorities to undermine access to abortion services which, it claims put 57 percent of child-bearing age American women in states hostile or extremely hostile to abortion rights, compared to 30 percent living in states which are highly supportive.

Republican Gov. Phil Bryant signed a bill Monday, and it became law immediately. He says MS is "saving more of the unborn than any state in America". While other state legislatures have passed similar laws in the past, this is the first to be signed into law. Bryant has frequently said he wants MS to be the "safest place in America for an unborn child".

Mississippi's governor has signed the nation's tightest abortion restrictions into law.

"I was proud to sign House Bill 1510 this afternoon", Bryant said on Twitter.

"HB 1510 places viability at 15 weeks-about two months earlier than where the medical consensus places it", Reeves wrote in his order, noting that the law is of "dubious constitutionality". Bryant has frequently said he wants MS to be the "safest place in America for an unborn child". Pregnancies resulting from rape and incest are not exempted.

Abortion rights advocates are calling the law unconstitutional because it limits abortion before fetuses can live outside the womb.

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