Mississippi Vows Further Appeal After Loss on Abortion Ban

The Associated Press
By The Associated Press
December 15, 2019US News
Mississippi Vows Further Appeal After Loss on Abortion Ban
Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant speaks during a "Keep America Great" campaign rally featuring President Donald Trump at BancorpSouth Arena in Tupelo, Miss., on Nov. 1, 2019. (Brandon Dill/Getty Images)

Mississippi’s governor vowed Saturday to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold Mississippi’s ban on abortion at 15 weeks.

“We will sustain our efforts to fight for America’s unborn children,” Republican Phil Bryant wrote on Twitter. “Mississippi will continue this mission to the United States Supreme Court.”

The call came a day after a federal appeals court ruled the ban was unconstitutional. But supporters of the Mississippi ban, and those like it passed in other states, have been aiming for the Supreme Court all along. They hope that new conservative justices will spur the high court to take up abortion challenges and overturn its 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling legalizing abortion nationwide.

Mississippi’s ban at 15 weeks of pregnancy has never taken effect. It was blocked by U.S. District Court Judge Carlton Reeves in 2018, a move the New Orleans-based 5th Circuit ruled in favor of.

The only abortion clinic in Mississippi sued the state after Bryant signed the law. The clinic said it provides abortions until 16 weeks.

Attorneys representing the state of Mississippi had argued that the 15-week law was a regulation but not a ban, and that states are allowed to regulate abortion.

The Mississippi law would allow exceptions to the 15-week ban in cases of medical emergency or severe fetal abnormality. Doctors found in violation of the ban would face mandatory suspension or revocation of their medical license.

Reeves’ ruling on the Mississippi law put a similar law in Louisiana on hold. The 15-week abortion ban signed by Louisiana Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards in 2018 included a provision that the law would take effect only if a federal court upholds Mississippi’s 15-week ban.

By Jeff Amy

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