Feb 20, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Mississippi's six-week abortion ban struck down by three-judge panel

Abortion protesters.

Photo: OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals blocked Mississippi's six-week abortion ban on Thursday, indicating the three-judge panel finds the law unconstitutional.

The state of play: The ruling upholds a lower court's May 2019 decision. The Fifth Circuit struck down a 15-week abortion ban in December passed in Mississippi last year.

What they're saying: “This is now the second time in two months the Fifth Circuit has told Mississippi that it cannot ban abortion. Despite the relentless attempts of Mississippi and other states, the right to legal abortion remains the law of the land,” said Hillary Schneller, senior staff attorney at the Center for Reproductive Rights, in a press release.

“[A]ll agree that cardiac activity can be detected well before the fetus is viable. That dooms the law. If a ban on abortion after 15 weeks is unconstitutional, then it follows that a ban on abortion at an earlier stage of pregnancy is also unconstitutional.”
— the three-judge panel in its opinion

The big picture: Mississippi is one of several states that passed abortion bans in 2019, along with Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Ohio and Utah.

Go deeper... Where abortion restrictions stand: The states that have passed laws

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