Judge temporarily blocks 15-week abortion ban


On the same day that MS governor Phil Bryant signed a bill into law officially banning most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, two Republican lawmakers in OH are proposing legislation that could ban abortions completely in the state. The Center for Reproductive Rights and Jackson Women's Health Organization filed suit yesterday afternoon challenging the constitutionality of the law, shortly after the governor signed the bill, which took effect immediately.

US District Judge Carlton Reeves signed a temporary restraining order that will prevent the state from enforcing the law for 10 days beginning Tuesday morning, arguing that the plaintiffs suing to overturn the law "are substantially likely to succeed on their claim" that the new law "is unconstitutional". "The Supreme Court says every woman has a constitutional right to "personal privacy" regarding her body".

Bryant tweeted that he was "committed to making MS the safest place in America" for fetuses.

Bryant seemed to predict Tuesday's lawsuit, saying "We'll probably be sued here in about a half hour, and that'll be fine with me". While other state legislatures have passed similar laws in the past, this is the first to be signed into law.

Some legal experts have said a change in the law is unlikely unless the makeup of the U.S. Supreme Court changes in a way that favors abortion opponents. The Mississippi measure is specifically created to challenge those rulings, trying to get courts to rule states can restrict abortion before viability. Republican Gov. Phil Bryant signed House Bill 1510 on Monday, and it became law immediately. He told The Associated Press he is proud MS is taking steps to protect "the most vulnerable of human life:" the unborn. "There are only a few clinics left to serve patients who need abortion care even as we speak, and with HB 1510 targeting the lone remaining clinic in MS, a scarce health service will become even more so".

In a lawsuit handled by the Center of Reproductive Rights, the Jackson Women's Health Organization says the measure is unconstitutional and should immediately be struck down.

A pro-life protester stands outside the Jackson Women's Health Organization clinic in Jackson earlier this month. The clinic has sued the state over a new tough restriction on abortion

The new law bans most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, down from the state's previous 20 weeks. 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.

Reeves did not rule from the bench but said he would rule as soon as possible.

Mississippi's governor has signed the nation's tightest abortion restrictions into law. Bryant has frequently said he wants MS to be the "safest place in America for an unborn child".

"There is no doubt that this unconstitutional abortion ban will harm MS women and families". There are no exceptions for incidents of rape or incest.

Abortion rights advocates are calling the law unconstitutional because it limits abortion before fetuses can live outside the womb. In fact, the only exceptions to law are if the fetus has an issue that is "incompatible with life" or if the mother's life or "major bodily function" would be threatened by carrying the pregnancy to full term.

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