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Judge temporarily blocks 15-week abortion ban

Judge temporarily blocks 15-week abortion ban

Saying that he was "saving the unborn", governor Phil Bryant of MS signed into law on Monday a measure that would ban nearly all abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

However, the day after Bryant signed the bill into law, U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves, in response to a lawsuit file by Mississippi's only operating abortion clinic - Jackson Women's Health Organization - granted the clinic's request for a temporary restraining order to block the law during the upcoming legal battle. The state's only abortion clinic, the Jackson Women's Health Organization, filed a complaint in United States District Court for Mississippi's Southern District and is seeking a preliminary injunction to prevent officials from enforcing the act.

A federal judge on Tuesday temporarily blocked Mississippi's new abortion law - the most restrictive in the country - saying it's likely to be found unconstitutional. "The Supreme Court says every woman has a constitutional right to "personal privacy" regarding her body".

"We certainly think this bill is unconstitutional", said Katherine Klein, equality advocacy coordinator for the American Civil Liberties Union of Mississippi.

The law and responding challenge set up a confrontation sought by abortion opponents, who are hoping federal courts will ultimately prohibit abortions before a fetus is viable.

"We'll probably be sued in about half an hour", Bryant said to laughter from supporters as he signed the bill. House Bill 1510 became law immediately upon Bryant's signature.

The temporary block came as the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra, a case questioning whether pregnancy centers should inform clients of available abortion procedures. He said viability was considered to be around 28 weeks at the time of the Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion nationwide, and about 23 or 24 weeks in more recent court cases.

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The last abortion clinic in MS is suing to overturn a new law that bans abortions after 15 weeks.

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

Republican Gov. Phil Bryant signed House Bill 1510 on Monday afternoon. The state's only abortion clinic quickly sued.

"We are saving more of the unborn than any state in America, and what better thing can we do?" He asked: "Does the state have the right to trump the woman's right to have control over her decisions, over her body?"

A federal judge in MS will hear arguments Tuesday over whether he should block the nation's most restrictive abortion law less than 24 hours after it took effect.

Reeves did not rule from the bench but said he would rule as soon as possible. Bryant has frequently said he wants MS to be the "safest place in America for an unborn child".

If approved, it is unclear how Louisiana's 15-week abortion ban would hold up in court. There are no exceptions for incidents of rape or incest. 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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