US judge to consider blocking new Mississippi abortion law

Published 12:01 pm Monday, May 20, 2019

(AP) — A federal judge will hear arguments about a Mississippi law that would ban most abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected.

The Jackson Women’s Health Organization is suing the state over the law, signed by Republican Gov. Phil Bryant in March. The organization is Mississippi’s sole abortion clinic.

U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves is scheduled to hear arguments Tuesday on the clinic’s request that he block the law from taking effect July 1. It is unclear whether Reeves will issue an immediate decision.

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The judge ruled in 2018 that a Mississippi law banning abortion at 15 weeks was unconstitutional.

Governors in Kentucky, Ohio and Georgia have signed bans on abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected, around six weeks. Alabama’s governor signed a measure making abortion a felony in nearly all cases.