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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.

Cases: 252475

Reported Deaths: 5521
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto17120175
Hinds16207322
Harrison13353193
Rankin10689211
Jackson10303183
Lee8796141
Madison8232162
Jones6288110
Forrest5949119
Lauderdale5847180
Lowndes5355116
Lafayette494292
Lamar484165
Washington4777123
Bolivar3966108
Oktibbeha392480
Panola368378
Pontotoc362853
Monroe3533105
Warren348498
Union343060
Marshall341665
Neshoba3370152
Pearl River327899
Leflore3002105
Lincoln297085
Sunflower282669
Tate270862
Hancock266559
Alcorn263253
Itawamba262459
Pike262077
Scott246245
Prentiss245052
Yazoo244355
Copiah240849
Tippah240450
Simpson234867
Leake230564
Coahoma230054
Grenada217770
Covington211371
Marion210672
Adams204670
Winston200164
Wayne199630
George199038
Attala193559
Newton191342
Tishomingo184459
Chickasaw183644
Jasper169735
Holmes168567
Clay159033
Stone142320
Tallahatchie140134
Clarke138660
Calhoun135721
Smith120123
Yalobusha116534
Walthall111836
Noxubee110322
Greene109729
Montgomery109434
Carroll104221
Lawrence102417
Perry101631
Amite97725
Webster92224
Tunica86321
Claiborne86125
Jefferson Davis84125
Humphreys82924
Benton81523
Kemper77120
Quitman6888
Franklin66415
Choctaw60313
Wilkinson58325
Jefferson53819
Sharkey42717
Issaquena1596
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 422598

Reported Deaths: 6120
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson62039921
Mobile30225548
Madison27052186
Tuscaloosa20728267
Montgomery18978305
Shelby18504114
Baldwin16251182
Lee12465101
Morgan12233113
Etowah11735168
Calhoun11122200
Marshall10191107
Houston8598148
Cullman8023105
Limestone800274
Elmore7836101
DeKalb768397
Lauderdale754683
St. Clair7535120
Talladega6166108
Walker5897174
Jackson580341
Colbert532073
Blount530483
Autauga518455
Coffee441056
Dale396181
Franklin366248
Chilton336165
Russell330310
Covington327268
Escambia316842
Dallas303196
Chambers282769
Clarke281433
Tallapoosa2616107
Pike248729
Marion245650
Lawrence243647
Winston226635
Bibb215147
Geneva201435
Marengo199029
Pickens196531
Hale175842
Barbour172936
Butler169658
Fayette168226
Cherokee160330
Henry153621
Monroe145217
Randolph139835
Washington137626
Clay126145
Crenshaw118744
Lamar118019
Cleburne117423
Macon114735
Lowndes110335
Wilcox103121
Bullock99028
Perry97419
Conecuh94420
Sumter89026
Greene76023
Coosa60515
Choctaw51224
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