/Federal judge overturns Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban

Federal judge overturns Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban

Gov. Phil Bryant signed House Bill 15, also known as the “Gestational Age Act”, into law in March. The law banned all abortions after a woman has reached her fifteenth week of gestation, unless the woman is in imminent danger or the fetus suffers from a life-threatening condition. The law was passed by Mississippi’s only abortion clinic, Jackson Women’s Health. Jackson Women’s Health sued the state for violating the constitution. The law was temporarily suspended by Judge Carlton Reeves of the United States District Court. For 18 hours Mississippi was subject to the strictest abortion laws in the country. Reeves made Tuesday’s temporary injunction permanent and called the law an unconstitutional ploy by the U.S. Supreme Court. He wanted to see Roe v. Wade overturned, which legalized abortion nationwide in 1973. The real reason we’re here is very simple. Reeves stated that the State passed a law it knew was illegal to support a long campaign by national interest groups to have Roe v. Wade overturned. “This Court follows orders of the Supreme Court, the dictates of United States Constitution rather than disingenuous calculations made by the Mississippi Legislature,” Reeves wrote. Bryant supported the law loudly, but he indicated that he knew it would lead to a legal battle. Bryant laughed at the March bill signing, saying, “We’ll probably get sued in approximately half an hour.” I’ll be fine with that. It’ll be worth fighting for.” Tuesday’s request for comment from the governor’s office was not returned. Reeves’s lawsuit was filed by the Center for Reproductive Rights on behalf of Jackson Women’s Health Clinic. “Our victory today means women in Mississippi will continue to be able to make their own decisions regarding whether or not to terminate a pregnancy,” Nancy Northup, Center for Reproductive Rights president and CEO, said. “Today’s decision should serve as a wake-up call to state legislators who continue to try to limit abortion access. These bans will not be upheld in a court. Also, the Louisiana 15-week ban that was passed in May in Louisiana will not take effect due to today’s decision. This law’s effective date is dependent on the outcome in the lawsuit challenging Mississippi 15-week ban. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which was challenging the ban for 15 weeks in Mississippi, stepped up its lawsuit to challenge several other restrictions on abortion. Clinics are now less likely to be open due to these laws. They include increased staffing requirements and mandatory waiting periods for abortion. To support this important work, you can make a regular donation to us today as part of the Spring Member Drive.