Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban blocked by appeals court

Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban blocked by appeals court
State lawmakers attempt to ban abortions in Mississippi after 15 weeks. Source: WLBT

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A federal appeals court says Mississippi’s ban on abortion at 15 weeks is unconstitutional.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued the ruling Friday. It said U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves ruled correctly when he blocked the state law from taking effect in 2018.

The only abortion clinic in Mississippi sued the state after Republican Gov. Phil Bryant signed the law.

“In an unbroken line dating to Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court’s abortion cases have established (and affirmed, and re-affirmed) a woman’s right to choose an abortion before viability,” the appeals court judges wrote. “States may regulate abortion procedures prior to viability so long as they do not impose an undue burden on the woman’s right but they may not ban abortions. The law at issue is a ban. Thus, we affirm the district court’s invalidation of the law.”

Mississippi legislators came back in 2019 and passed a more restrictive law to ban most abortions at about six weeks. The same federal district judge blocked that, too, and a legal fight over it continues.

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