Dec 14, 2019

Mississippi governor promises to persist in abortion battle

Pro-life protester outside of Mississippi's last abortion clinic

Pro-life activist outside of Mississippi's last abortion clinic. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

Mississippi's outgoing Gov. Phil Bryant tweeted on Saturday that he will continue "to fight for America’s unborn children. Mississippi will continue this mission to the United States Supreme Court."

Why now: Bryant's promise comes one day after a federal appeals court ruled that the state's ban on abortions at 15 weeks is unconstitutional, AP reports. Bryant hopes to take the case to the Supreme Court, like many Republicans across the country, where new conservative justices could possibly overturn Roe v. Wade.

The state of play: Mississippi's ban was blocked by U.S. District Court Judge Carlton Reeves in 2018, and never took effect, AP notes.

  • The question at the center of this case is viability, with Mississippi's only abortion clinic arguing it is impossible at 15 weeks, according to AP.
  • Yes, but: “In an unbroken line dating to Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court’s abortion cases have established (and affirmed, and re-affirmed) a woman’s right to choose an abortion before viability,” Judge Patrick Higginbotham wrote for the court.

What's next: Byrant will be leaving office in January, but will be succeeded by Republican Tate Reeves, who is also an abortion opponent, per AP.

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