15-Week Abortion Ban Blocked in Mississippi
By Megan Cerullo
A federal judge on Tuesday blocked Mississippi's 15-week abortion ban ruling that it violates the Constitution.
The Mississippi Gestational Age Act, HB1510, enacted in March, prohibits physicians from performing abortions after 15 weeks in gestation except in a medical emergency or in cases of severe fetal abnormality.
Doctors who perform abortions face license suspension and a fine.
U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves wrote Tuesday that the ban violated Supreme Court precedent on abortion.
"The record is clear: States may not ban abortions prior to viability," he wrote in declaring the act unlawful.
"This Court follows the commands of the Supreme Court and the dictates of the United States Constitution, rather than the disingenuous calculations of the Mississippi Legislature," he continued.
Reeves wrote that a viable pregnancy usually begins after 23 or 24 weeks, according to "established medical consensus."
He acknowledged the irony of a man deciding the fate of a woman's ability to make reproductive decisions.
"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," Reeves wrote.
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