On the same day that MS governor Phil Bryant signed a bill into law officially banning most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, two Republican lawmakers in OH are proposing legislation that could ban abortions completely in the state.
Louisiana legislators may soon consider a proposal that bans abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, following in the footsteps of MS lawmakers, who on Monday (March 19) signed a similar bill into law.
U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves heard arguments Tuesday before granting the clinic's immediate request for a temporary restraining order that would block the law during the legal fight. The law was ruled unconstitutional by a three-judge panel in the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in 2014.
"We are saving more of the unborn than any state in America, and what better thing can we do?" At 15 weeks, the fetus is still utterly incapable of independent existence; this means that under Roe v Wade, pregnant people are still legally entitled to an abortion procedure.
"We Catholic bishops of MS wish to reaffirm the sacredness of human life from conception until natural death", said Bishop Joseph R. Kopacz of Jackson and Bishop Louis F. Kihneman III of Biloxi. "That right protects her choice "to have an abortion before viability" he wrote. The bill also states that there are no exceptions for rape or incest. And the advocacy group expects that this bill to ban "pre-viability abortion" will similarly be stopped.
Abortion rights advocates say the law is unconstitutional because it limits abortion before fetuses can live outside the womb. That's out of about 2 500 abortions performed statewide, mostly at the clinic. Carr-Ellis said women shouldn't be forced to carry their pregnancies to term against their wills or leave the state to obtain abortions.
"By banning abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy, the law violates decades of well-established, clear precedent under the U.S. Constitution".
The law has exceptions for the life of the mother or if continuing the pregnancy would endanger a "major bodily function".
Katherine Klein, advocacy coordinator for the American Civil Liberties Union's MS branch, said she expected the law to be struck down. Providers are now required to ask the patient if they want to listen to the heartbeat of the fetus during a state-mandated ultrasound.
Bryant has now signed a law that makes his state the most hard state in the country to get an abortion.
The law bans abortion earlier than any other law now in effect, a fact Bryant, a Republican, proudly touted on social media.
"However in countries with restrictive abortion laws, while women might be able to access misoprostol, many don't have access to the information, counselling and follow-up care needed", she said. Whatever challenges we have to take on to do that, is something we're willing to do'.
A federal judge has heard arguments from attorneys seeking and opposing an order that would temporarily block a new MS law banning abortions after 15 weeks' gestation.