Mississippi 15-week abortion ban challenged in court

On March 19th, Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant signed into law the Gestational Age Act (House Bill 1510), the earliest ban on abortion in the United States, which prohibits abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy without exceptions only for “medical emergencies” or severe fetal abnormalities. Individuals whose pregnancies result from rape or incest would be unable to obtain an abortion in the state at after 15 weeks. The Jackson Women’s Health Center, the sole abortion provider in the state, filed a lawsuit against the state challenging the ban. On March 20th, a federal judge granted a temporary restraining order, preventing the law from going into effect while the merits of the lawsuit are reviewed. Mississippi had previously banned abortion at 20 weeks GA, and the lawsuit contends that the current ban is unconstitutional and violates legal precedent established in Roe v. Wade and Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstedt that the state does not have the right to ban abortion before viability.

Kennedy M. (2018, March 8). NPR. Mississippi Legislature Approves Bill Banning Abortions After 15 Weeks.

Fausset R. (2018 March 20). New York Times. Missippi Bans Abortions After 15 Weeks; Opponents Swiftly Sue

Jackson Women’s Health Organization & Sacheen Carr-Ellis v. Currier et al., 3:18-CV-171-CWR-FKB (S.D. Miss. 2018) https://www.reproductiverights.org/sites/crr.civicactions.net/files/documents/MS-Complaint-Signed.pdf


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