Federal Appeals Court Blocks Mississippi’s 15-Week Abortion Ban

A federal appeals court on Friday blocked Mississippi’s ban on abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy, handing a defeat to advocates seeking to impose bans on the procedure across the country.

The ruling from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a ruling from a district court that blocked the ban from going into effect in 2018.

“In an unbroken line dating to Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court’s abortion cases have established (and affirmed, and re-affirmed) a woman’s right to choose an abortion before viability,” the appeals court judges wrote. “States may regulate abortion procedures prior to viability so long as they do not impose an undue burden on the woman’s right but they may not ban abortions.”

The only abortion clinic in Mississippi launched the suit against the state government after Gov. Phil Bryant (R) signed the rule into law. The clinic said it only provides abortions until 16 weeks into a pregnancy, according to The Associated Press.

The law made exceptions in cases of a medical emergency that threatened the mother or “a severe fetal abnormality” that would have prevented the fetus surviving outside of the womb but did not include exceptions for cases of rape or incest.

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SOURCE: The Hill, Tal Axelrod