The Great Smoky Mountain Journal
Tuesday, January 01, 2019 02:41 PM
Federal Judge Blocks New Mississippi Law That Bans Abortions After 15 Weeks
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) A federal judge is
temporarily blocking a new Mississippi law that bans abortion after 15
weeks, the most restrictive abortion law in the United States.
U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves on Tuesday granted a temporary restraining order requested by the state's only abortion clinic. Republican Gov. Phil Bryant signed House Bill 1510 on Monday, and it became law immediately.
Dr. Sacheen Carr-Ellis of the Jackson Women's Health Organization said in court papers filed Monday that a woman 15 weeks or more pregnant was scheduled for a Tuesday afternoon abortion.
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. Current federal law does not.
A federal judge has heard arguments from attorneys seeking and opposing an order that would temporarily block a new Mississippi law banning abortions after 15 weeks' gestation. The measure is the most restrictive abortion law in the United States.
Republican Gov. Phil Bryant signed a bill Monday, and it became law immediately. The state's only abortion clinic quickly sued.
U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves heard arguments Tuesday on the clinic's request for a temporary restraining order to block the law. Clinic attorney Rob McDuff said a woman scheduled for an abortion Tuesday is at least 15 weeks pregnant.
Special assistant attorney general Paul Barnes argued the state has an interest in protecting maternal health and "unborn life."
Reeves did not rule from the bench but said he would rule as soon as possible.
A federal judge in Mississippi will hear arguments Tuesday over whether he should block the nation's most restrictive abortion law less than 24 hours after it took effect.
Republican Gov. Phil Bryant signed House Bill 1510 on Monday, immediately banning most abortions after 15 weeks of gestation. He says Mississippi is "saving more of the unborn than any state in America."
A physician at Mississippi's only abortion clinic states in court papers that a woman 15 weeks or more pregnant is scheduled for a Tuesday abortion.
The law's only exceptions are if fetal health problems make it "incompatible with life" outside the womb at full term, or if a pregnant woman's life or a "major bodily function" is threatened by pregnancy. Pregnancies resulting from rape and incest aren't exempted.