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: 308737

Reported Deaths: 7139
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto20931250
Hinds19961410
Harrison17562303
Rankin13369277
Jackson13156243
Madison9950212
Lee9890170
Jones8310161
Forrest7542148
Lauderdale7221237
Lowndes6289144
Lamar613384
Lafayette6072117
Washington5291133
Bolivar4776129
Oktibbeha457197
Panola4458103
Pearl River4437141
Warren4299119
Marshall4286102
Pontotoc417572
Monroe4062132
Union404675
Neshoba4005176
Lincoln3886109
Hancock373385
Leflore3471124
Sunflower331589
Tate325384
Pike3215105
Scott311472
Yazoo305069
Alcorn299465
Itawamba297877
Copiah293965
Coahoma290479
Simpson289586
Tippah285168
Prentiss276659
Marion266279
Leake261773
Wayne261541
Grenada256484
Covington255280
Adams246982
Newton245761
George238547
Winston226081
Tishomingo222567
Jasper220048
Attala213673
Chickasaw205457
Holmes187172
Clay183254
Stone179733
Clarke177776
Tallahatchie176140
Calhoun165431
Yalobusha160136
Smith159334
Walthall131043
Greene129633
Lawrence126623
Noxubee126534
Montgomery125742
Perry125238
Carroll120926
Amite120741
Webster113832
Jefferson Davis105532
Tunica103225
Claiborne101330
Benton97525
Kemper95628
Humphreys94632
Franklin82923
Quitman78916
Choctaw73917
Wilkinson65128
Jefferson64828
Sharkey49817
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 521623

Reported Deaths: 10739
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson754061493
Mobile39067799
Madison34040496
Tuscaloosa25367444
Montgomery24019567
Shelby23186239
Baldwin20701302
Lee15589165
Calhoun14342311
Morgan14158271
Etowah13685346
Marshall11995220
Houston10404278
Elmore10011200
Limestone9852147
Cullman9503189
St. Clair9463234
Lauderdale9265228
DeKalb8757181
Talladega8115171
Walker7139275
Jackson6756110
Autauga6750103
Blount6519134
Colbert6229130
Coffee5424113
Dale4772111
Russell430038
Franklin420782
Chilton4101109
Covington4061114
Tallapoosa3907146
Escambia390174
Dallas3525149
Chambers3514122
Clarke347060
Marion3072100
Pike306176
Lawrence295995
Winston273172
Bibb256059
Marengo248361
Geneva246075
Pickens233259
Barbour226455
Hale218575
Butler212967
Fayette209460
Henry188044
Cherokee182644
Randolph177241
Monroe172540
Washington165238
Macon155648
Clay150155
Crenshaw149457
Cleburne146741
Lamar139734
Lowndes136553
Wilcox124427
Bullock121640
Conecuh109428
Perry107626
Sumter103232
Coosa99428
Greene91434
Choctaw58824
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