Mississippi AG petitions Supreme Court to review 15-week abortion ban

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Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review Mississippi’s ‘Gestational Age Act,’ a proposed 15-week abortion ban.

Passed by the Mississippi Legislature in 2018, the law was blocked by a federal judge and that decision was upheld by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in December 2019. In a statement, Fitch explained that this petition has been filed in order to obtain clarity from the nation’s highest court. 

“Yesterday, we filed a petition for certiorari with the Supreme Court of the United States asking the Court to review Mississippi’s Gestational Age Act, which preserves the right to life after 15 weeks within the womb. The petition asks the Court to clarify its jurisprudence on abortion to allow states like ours to enact laws that further their legitimate interests in protecting maternal health, safeguarding unborn babies, and promoting respect for innocent and vulnerable life. We are hopeful that the Court will accept our case and allow Mississippi to defend innocent life as the Legislature and people of this great State intend.”

U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves initially blocked the law, deeming it to be unconstitutional. 

“There is a lone legal question presented: does H.B. 1510 infringe on the Fourteenth Amendment due process rights of women? It does, unequivocally,” he wrote at the time. 

The following year, Mississippi lawmakers passed a bill that would ban abortion in the state as soon as a fetal heartbeat is detected — typically around 6 weeks. 

The law was blocked once again and appeals have been unsuccessful to this point. 

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