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Mississippi will seek to revive law on 15-week abortion ban

MGN Online

Mississippi's attorney general said Friday that he will appeal a federal judge's ruling that struck down one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the United States.

Posted: Nov 23, 2018 5:23 PM

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi's attorney general said Friday that he will appeal a federal judge's ruling that struck down one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the United States.

U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves ruled Tuesday that a Mississippi law banning most abortions after 15 weeks "unequivocally" violates women's constitutional rights.

The state's Democratic attorney general, Jim Hood, said Friday that other federal circuits have reviewed laws banning abortion at 15 to 20 weeks, but the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has not yet reviewed such a case.

"Because there is no controlling decision from our Fifth Circuit, it is our duty to appeal this ruling," Hood said in a statement.

The 5th Circuit handles cases from Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas. It is generally considered one of the most conservative federal appellate courts.

The only abortion clinic in Mississippi says it provides abortions until 16 weeks, and it sued when Republican Gov. Phil Bryant signed the 15-week ban on March 19. Reeves issued a temporary restraining order the next day to keep the state from enforcing the law.

Bryant indicated Wednesday that he was interested in an appeal of Reeves' ruling. As attorney general, Hood is in charge of deciding whether the state will appeal.

Hood has already announced he's running for governor in 2019, when a term-limited Bryant may not seek re-election.

The Mississippi law and the responding lawsuit set up a confrontation sought by abortion opponents, who are hoping federal courts will ultimately prohibit abortions before a fetus is viable outside the womb, the dividing line that the U.S. Supreme Court set in its 1973 ruling saying that women have the right to terminate pregnancies.

An Iowa law, also challenged in court, bans most abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected.

The Mississippi law would allow exceptions to the 15-week ban in cases of medical emergency or severe fetal abnormality. Doctors found in violation of the ban would face mandatory suspension or revocation of their medical license.

In his ruling Tuesday, Reeves cited Supreme Court rulings and wrote that states may not ban abortions before viability. He wrote that viability must be determined by trained medical professionals, and the "established medical consensus" is that viability typically begins at 23 to 24 weeks after the pregnant woman's last menstrual period.

"The fact that men, myself included, are determining how women may choose to manage their reproductive health is a sad irony not lost on the Court," Reeves wrote. "... As a man who cannot get pregnant or seek an abortion, I can only imagine the anxiety and turmoil a woman might experience when she decides whether to terminate her pregnancy through an abortion. Respecting her autonomy demands that this statute be enjoined."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 30900

Reported Deaths: 1111
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds249840
DeSoto159416
Madison130034
Jones112449
Neshoba98871
Rankin93412
Harrison91211
Lauderdale90979
Forrest86942
Scott77115
Jackson62216
Copiah60215
Washington5849
Leake57819
Holmes55341
Lee54718
Wayne54513
Oktibbeha54126
Warren51518
Yazoo5096
Leflore48751
Grenada4835
Lowndes48313
Lincoln46034
Lamar4587
Pike43112
Monroe40130
Lafayette3914
Sunflower3727
Attala36023
Covington3565
Panola3506
Newton3399
Bolivar33414
Simpson3173
Adams31118
Pontotoc2866
Tate28310
Marion28111
Chickasaw27718
Claiborne27410
Noxubee2638
Jasper2626
Winston2616
Pearl River25432
Clay25010
Marshall2323
Smith21811
Clarke20724
Union2079
Coahoma2016
Walthall1995
Kemper17914
Lawrence1772
Yalobusha1707
Carroll16511
Humphreys1479
Tallahatchie1364
Itawamba1358
Montgomery1322
Calhoun1304
Tippah13011
Hancock12813
Webster12710
Jefferson Davis1114
Prentiss1083
Jefferson1073
Greene1058
Tunica1003
Wilkinson949
Amite912
George883
Tishomingo801
Quitman760
Choctaw744
Alcorn692
Perry664
Stone651
Franklin452
Sharkey370
Benton360
Issaquena91
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 44375

Reported Deaths: 984
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson5221152
Montgomery4127103
Mobile4080134
Tuscaloosa228842
Marshall171110
Madison14307
Lee138437
Shelby128423
Morgan11025
Walker93924
Elmore92514
Franklin89514
Dallas8809
Baldwin8649
Etowah73913
DeKalb7195
Butler63328
Chambers62927
Autauga60712
Tallapoosa59169
Russell5520
Unassigned50323
Houston4964
Limestone4950
Lauderdale4906
Lowndes47221
Cullman4524
Pike4295
Colbert3956
St. Clair3822
Coffee3772
Bullock36910
Covington3587
Calhoun3545
Escambia3506
Barbour3492
Hale31121
Talladega3097
Marengo30211
Wilcox2918
Dale2880
Sumter28512
Clarke2746
Jackson2732
Winston2583
Chilton2462
Blount2351
Monroe2352
Pickens2356
Marion22413
Conecuh2097
Randolph2069
Choctaw19512
Macon1949
Bibb1901
Greene1868
Perry1771
Henry1343
Crenshaw1253
Washington1097
Lawrence1080
Cherokee977
Geneva800
Lamar771
Fayette701
Clay652
Coosa581
Cleburne361
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