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Attorney General: Defending abortion bill could be tough

Jim Hood says he expects "an immediate and expensive legal challenge" to the bill.

Posted: Mar. 8, 2018 3:35 PM

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi's attorney general says it could be tough to defend a bill lawmakers have passed banning most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

Jim Hood says he expects "an immediate and expensive legal challenge" to the bill, which has now passed both Republican-controlled chambers of the legislature. The Democratic attorney general notes that measures in other states banning abortions after 20 weeks have been struck down. Mississippi also has such a ban, but it has not been challenged yet.

Hood's comments Thursday came shortly after the House approved by a 75-34 vote what could become the nation's most restrictive abortion law. Republican Gov. Phil Bryant on Thursday reiterated his previous pledge to sign the bill.

The owner of Mississippi's only abortion clinic has vowed to sue.

There are two exceptions to the bill: if the fetus has a health problem that would prevent it from surviving outside the womb at full term, or if the pregnant woman's life or a "major bodily function" is threatened by the pregnancy. Pregnancies as a result of rape and incest would not be exempt.

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