In a “strongly worded” injunction, a federal judge has blocked Mississippi’s “heartbeat bill,” which bans abortions after the six-week mark.
On May 24, U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves issued the injunction, which combines The Center for Reproductive Rights’ lawsuit against the six-week ban with a lawsuit concerning the previous 15-week abortion ban. Reeves wrote:
“Here we go again. Mississippi has passed another law banning abortions prior to viability. The latest interpretation (Mississippi’s new law) bans abortions in Mississippi after a fetal heartbeat is detected, which is as early as 6 weeks.”
Last year, Reeves permanently enjoined the 15-week ban, calling it unconstitutional. In last week’s hearing, he asked, “Doesn’t it boil down to six is less than 15?”
He also addressed the fact that the new law fails to make exceptions for rape and incest:
“So a child who is raped at 10 or 11 years old, that child does not open their mouth, doesn’t tell their parents, the rapist may be in their home, nobody discovers until it’s too late — that is a fetal heartbeat has been detected — that child must bring the fetus to term under this statute, if the fetal heartbeat can be detected.”
Lawmakers, including Governor Phil Bryant, immediately announced plans to keep fighting the injunction:
“As Governor, I’ve pledged to do all I can to protect life,” Bryant said. “Time and time again the Legislature and I have done just that. I will encourage the Attorney General to seek immediate review of the preliminary injunction.”
However, these life-protecting men remain notably unfussed over what happens to human beings once they manage to successfully navigate the birth canal. Mississippi continues to lead the nation in child poverty and is 48th in the nation for child well-being. The state is also 49th in the country for teen birth rates and 48th for hunger and food insecurity.