Published On: Sat, Mar 31st, 2018

Mississippi 15 week abortion ban may test US Supreme Court on limits before viability

A federal judge has temporarily blocked Mississippi’s new ban on abortions at 15 weeks, less than 24 hours after it was signed into law.

U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves has granted a temporary restraining order against the enforcement of HB 1510, the law Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant signed prohibiting abortions from being performed beyond fifteen weeks for any reason other than physical medical emergencies or severe fetal abnormalities.

Citing legal precedent, Reeves said that HB 1510 simply draws the line earlier than what the Supreme Court allows. “That right protects her choice ‘to have an abortion before viability’” he wrote. “States cannot ‘prohibit any woman from making the ultimate decision’ to do so.”

Reeves’ language indicated his final decision would be the same as the case moved forward. “Does the state have the right to trump the woman’s right to have control over her decisions, over her body?” he asked.

photo: 14 week fetus photo/ Your Pregnancy week by week

The law took effect immediately, leading the state’s last abortion facility to sue almost as rapidly.

The pro-abortion Center of Reproductive Rights filed a lawsuit on behalf of Women’s Health Organization (WHO) in Jackson,

“Under decades of United States Supreme Court precedent, the state of Mississippi cannot ban abortion prior to viability, regardless of what exceptions are provided to the ban,” the lawsuit argues.

Current judicial precedent says that abortion cannot be banned prior to fetal viability, and in 2014 the Supreme Court refused to consider the constitutionality of a 20-week ban in Arizona.

Law experts with the Life Legal Defense Foundation note that the Supreme Court has also acknowledged a “compelling interest in protecting the unborn child” as pregnancy progresses, particularly on criteria such as pre-born children’s capacity to feel pain.

The state’s ban focuses on what Mississippi officials perceive as a risk to women, said Paul Barnes, special assistant to the attorney general.

“Abortions being performed at 12, 13, 14, 15, each of those weeks, the risk goes up,” Barnes said. “That is one of the harms this bill is designed to protect. … Risk increases exponentially from one week to the next.”

Later he added that: “The viability line is constantly moving,” Barnes said of the state’s position. “When viability is the issue, then the state’s interest trumps the woman’s interest. It’s always moving in favor of the state’s authority, it’s never moving the other direction.”

USA Today claims that the earliest premature baby that survived was born in San Antonio in 2014 after 21 weeks and 4 days of gestation. Twins born in the UK defied the experts after being born at 24 weeks – they are thriving.

The other issue with timing is an error in dating. a February article chronicled the survival of Amillia Taylor, born 10 ounces, somewhere between 18-21 weeks. Check out her story HERE

Very Well Family has a list of their own, truly amazing.

So, the question will ultimately land on the steps of the Supreme Court as the justices will have to balance the law of the land, Roe v. Wade against States’ Rights and against the ever improving science.

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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  1. […] Democratic Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards signed legislation banning abortions on babies 15 weeks or older (pending the ruling on the Mississippi bill.) […]

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