During a hearing on Mississippi’s controversial six week abortion ban that the Legislature passed and Gov. Phil Bryant signed the March measure. The measure prohibits abortions once a fetal beat is detected. This can often occur as early as six weeks into pregnancy. The law was blocked by abortion-rights groups. However, the origins of Tuesday’s hearing at Jackson date back to last autumn when Reeves (an Obama appointee) permanently blocked the state’s 15-week abortion ban. This ban was passed during the 2018 legislative sessions. He called it the most restrictive bans in America at the time. The Center for Reproductive Rights attorneys are suing the state for its only abortion clinic. They claim that the six week ban breaches long-standing constitutional protections for abortion. Reeves’ decision to strike down the previous 15-week ban should also be applied to the new ban that will take effect July 1. Hillary Schneller, staff attorney at Center for Reproductive Rights, stated that they are asking the court to stop the law from taking effect on July 1. “It would effectively extinguish right to abortion in the state.” The state’s attorneys argued that the six-week law was not an absolute ban as women can still have an abortion even if there is no heartbeat detected. Others disagree. Shannon Brewer, who is the clinic director at the Jackson Women’s Health Organization in Jackson, is where women legally can have an abortion. Brewer stated that abortions are rarely performed on women less than six weeks of pregnancy. Brewer said that abortions are done six weeks later at most abortion facilities because the average woman doesn’t find out she is pregnant until two weeks after the missed cycle. “I know this is why the state did it. For the simple fact that they know that by that time a woman realizes she’s pregnant, it’s too late to allow her to make that decision.” Reeves asked both sides multiple questions during the proceedings, but the main conclusion was clear. Reeves stated that he couldn’t understand how a six-week limitation on a woman’s right to choose…how it could survive in the face of a court that had already struck down a 15-week ban. Reeves didn’t rule, but he told both sides that he was aware about the July 1 date for the law’s implementation and that he expected to rule soon. A mile from the Mississippi State Capitol, abortion rights supporters rallied against the law an hour later. “We are here for rallies to stop the bans, not just here in Mississippi, but throughout the country,” Derenda Hancock of the “Pink House Defenders”, a volunteer escort group at a women’s health organisation said. Mississippi’s legal struggles come after a series of new abortion laws were passed across the country in the past few weeks. Georgia, Kentucky, Ohio and Kentucky have passed similar heartbeat laws. In Alabama, however, the Republican-led Legislature has outlawed almost all abortions. Gloria Williamson, a former Democratic state senator, shared her personal story with the crowd. She said that doctors had told her she had problems during her pregnancy in 1963. However, doctors couldn’t perform a procedure to remove the dead fetus. She said that she nearly died from hemorhaging eventually. Williamson stated that Williamson was 19 years old, and was “fixing to die.” This isn’t just about illegal abortion. “This is not about illegal abortion. Two state legislators were present, Rep. Jarvis Dortch (D-Raymond) and Rep. Alyce Carle (D-Jackson). Hancock stated, “I need your support to continue fighting, emailing, and calling your representatives… but I really need to see you be angry and I need to keep angry.” “Women’s lives at stake.” Make a regular donation to support this work today as we celebrate our Spring Member Drive.