MS implements most restrictive abortion law in US



Phil Bryant (R) signed a law that bans abortion after 15 weeks gestation Monday, down from the current 20 week ban the state has in effect.

Attorney Rob McDuff told The Associated Press that the Jackson Women's Health Organization wants a federal judge to impose a temporary restraining order by Tuesday. The suit argued the bill strips women of options in a state where there are already very few, including one woman, who is at 15 weeks gestation and was scheduled to have an abortion Tuesday afternoon.

The bill allows two exceptions: If the mother's life is endangered by the pregnancy or if the fetus has medical problems that would make it "incompatible with life" outside the womb at full-term.

The law is facing legal challenges from abortion rights advocates who say it is unconstitutional.

The Center for Reproductive Rights, whose lawyers are representing the Jackson clinic and Carr-Ellis in the lawsuit, said in a statement Tuesday, "the law violates decades of well-established, clear precedent under the U.S. Constitution. And if we go all the way to the Supreme Court, we are willing to do that", he said.

"This is a human being at 15 weeks and we are going about protecting women and minorities from being torn apart by one of these later term abortions", he added. But despite some ambiguity, viability has a strong claim as being the moment at which personhood should be granted and the state can rightly begin to take some interest, with interventions becoming more likely as the pregnancy continues.

House Bill 1510 passed the MS legislature in early March, and Bryant recently said the "15-week ban will be the most protective language for the unborn".

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The U.S. Senate failed to pass a 20-week abortion ban bill in January. Both states count pregnancy as beginning on the first day of a woman's previous menstrual period.

In the suit, World Health Organization abortionist Dr. Sacheen Carr-Ellis says that women seeking abortions should be able to "make the decision that is best for her about the course of her pregnancy, based on her own values and goals for her life", and that the law's impact would start immediately by forcing the cancellation of an abortion scheduled for this afternoon.

Republican Gov. Phil Bryant signed House Bill 1510 in a closed ceremony attended by legislative supporters and abortion opponents. "In addition, According to a the latest independent, nonpartisan research from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) this procedure is the "superior method" for abortions after 16 weeks, and is safe with minimal rates of complications". The bill also states that there are no exceptions for rape or incest.

Proponents of the bill, like Mississippi State Rep. Dan Eubanks, argue that this law will do what's best for women. Bryant, predicting the lawsuit yesterday, also said the law would "be worth fighting over" in court. "We believe this law should be a model for the rest of the country because it's the same standard used by the rest of the world", MCPP acting president Dr. Jameson Taylor said in a statement.

For women without the financial resources or work flexibility, House Bill 1510 is really a de facto ban on abortion altogether.

Representative Adrienne Wooten questions Republican Andy Gipson about House Bill 1510 at the Capitol in Jackson, Mississippi, earlier this month.

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