The Republican governor of MS is criticizing a federal judge's decision to temporarily block a state law banning abortion after 15 weeks, the most restrictive abortion law in the United States.
In his state of the state address in 2014, Bryant said, "On this unfortunate anniversary of Roe v. Wade, my goal is to end abortion in MS". "I am committed to making MS the safest place in America for an unborn child, and this bill will help us achieve that goal".
MS moved quickly toward a legal confrontation over the nation's most restrictive abortion law on Monday. Physicians who perform abortions after the 15th week of pregnancy will face a $500 fine and be subject to having their medical license revoked.
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A federal judge is temporarily blocking a new MS law that bans abortion after 15 weeks, the most restrictive abortion law in the United States.
Reeves said in court that the "ultimate question" is whether a state can ban abortion before viability.
Republican legislative leaders Lt. Gov Tate Reeves and House Speaker Philip Gunn both attended Bryant's private signing ceremony.
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The 15-week ban and responding challenge set up a confrontation sought by abortion opponents, who are hoping federal courts will ultimately prohibit abortions before a fetus is viable.
The law bans abortion earlier than any other law now in effect, a fact Bryant, a Republican, proudly touted on social media. He said viability was considered to be around 28 weeks when the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion nationwide was handed down in 1973, and it was defined as being about 23 or 24 weeks in more recent court cases. House Bill 1510 became law immediately upon Bryant's signature. Previously, the state that's home to 3 million people banned the procedure at 20 weeks.
U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves heard arguments Tuesday on the clinic's request for a temporary restraining order to block the law.
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Citing legal precedent, Reeves said that HB 1510 simply draws the line earlier than what the Supreme Court allows. The woman previously underwent counseling more than 24 hours in advance, as required by a longstanding MS law. "I pray today we have saved the first life of an unborn child in MS", he tweeted. The Washington Post reports that the state's only abortion clinic has already filed a lawsuit, and one of Mississippi's federal courts has already scheduled a Tuesday hearing, which could result in the law being blocked.