Mississippi Abortion Law Faces Court Hearing Today

JACKSON, MS (Ben Caxton) — Federal appeals court judges will hear arguments today over a Mississippi law that would ban most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Governor Phil Bryant signed the 15-week ban into law 18 months ago but it has never taken effect. The state’s only abortion clinic immediately sued the state and U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves temporarily blocked the law the day after Bryant signed it. Last November Reeves struck the law down, ruling that it violates women’s constitutional rights by banning abortions weeks before viability, typically at 23 to 24 weeks. State attorneys today will ask the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn Reeves’ ruling and let the law take effect, while attorneys for the clinic will argue that Reeves was correct and his ruling should stand. Last year Louisiana passed a 15-week abortion ban but it will become law only if a federal court upholds Mississippi’s law.


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