This news comes as a great relief: On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves blocked a Mississippi abortion law that effectively bans abortions after 15 weeks.
NBC News reports that Reeves wrote in his opinion that the law “unequivocally” thwarts women’s constitutional rights. Reeves wrote “this Court concludes that the Mississippi Legislature’s professed interest in ‘women’s health’ is pure gaslighting.”
The ban was enacted in March after Governor Phil Bryant signed it into law. House Bill 1510, dubbed the Gestational Age Act, made no exceptions for rape or incest, although it did show some mercy where the mother’s life was endangered, or the fetus presented maladies such that it was deemed “incompatible with life.”
The Clarion Ledger reports that within six hours of Bryant signing the bill, the only abortion provider remaining in the state sued. The lawsuit was filed by the Center for Reproductive Rights on behalf to the Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a clinic that performs abortions up to 16 weeks into a pregnancy.
The Ledger also reports another happy conclusion of Reeves’ decision on Tuesday, which is that a similar ban passed in Louisiana in May will not go into effect, because “the law’s effective date depends on the outcome of the lawsuit challenging Mississippi’s 15-week ban, according to the Center for Reproductive Rights.”
Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, said in a statement Tuesday, “Our victory today means that women in Mississippi will maintain the ability to make their own decisions about whether and when to terminate a pregnancy…. Today’s decision should be a wake-up call for state lawmakers who are continuously trying to chip away at abortion access. Such bans will not stand in a court of law.”