(JACKSON, Miss.) — A federal court in Mississippi on Friday temporarily blocked the state’s new “fetal heartbeat” law that bans abortion after roughly six weeks of pregnancy. The law was set to take effect July 1.
“Here we go again,” U.S. District Judge Carlton W. Reeves wrote in his opinion. “Mississippi has passed another law banning abortions prior to viability.”
Mississippi is one of ten states to push through a law restricting access to abortion in 2019, though all of those laws have faced lawsuits that challenge their constitutionality and none of them are in effect. Georgia, Ohio and Kentucky have passed bans similar to Mississippi’s, and earlier on Friday, Missouri’s governor signed a new eight-week ban. Alabama passed a ban that would criminalize abortion altogether, while Utah and Arkansas have passed laws that would ban the most common form of second-trimester abortions.
The judge went on to say that Mississippi’s law, which was passed in March, “prevents a woman’s free choice, which is central to personal dignity and autonomy.”
The case was filed by Center for Reproductive Rights on behalf of Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the last remaining abortion clinic in Mississippi.
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