Judge blocks Mississippi law that would ban abortions after 15 weeks




  • In US
  • 2018-03-20 17:50:14Z
  • By Reuters

(Reuters) - A federal judge on Tuesday temporarily blocked a Mississippi law that would ban abortions after 15 weeks in a ruling handed down one day after the state's governor signed the measure.

The Mississippi law, which was the most restrictive abortion measure in the United States, will be blocked for 10 days while the judge considers arguments on whether to prevent the law from taking effect during a legal challenge.

"The Supreme Court says every woman has a constitutional right to 'personal privacy' regarding her body," U.S. District Court Judge Carlton Reeves in Jackson, Mississippi, said in a two-page ruling that quoted from the high court's 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion.

The Supreme Court has banned the prohibition of abortion before fetal viability, usually seen at about 20 weeks of gestation.

The Jackson Women's Health Organization, the only medical organization that provides abortions in Mississippi, sued to block the measure on Monday. It was represented by the Center for Reproductive Rights.

The Mississippi law that would, with some exceptions, prevent abortions after 15 weeks is outside of the medical consensus about when fetal viability begins, Reeves said in the ruling.

A representative for Republican Governor Phil Bryant, who signed the measure into law on Monday, could not immediately be reached for comment.

(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

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