Feb 20, 2020 - Politics & Policy

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

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

Go deeper

Brett Kavanaugh's first big abortion case

Kavanaugh at his swearing-in ceremony in 2018. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The Supreme Court this week will wade into its first big abortion case since Justice Brett Kavanaugh joined the bench.

Why it matters: It will give us the clearest indication yet of just how quickly and aggressively the newly expanded conservative majority is likely to move in curtailing abortion rights.

DNC chair Tom Perez: I don't know "what faith" Trump supporters follow

In an interview with "Axios on HBO," DNC chair Tom Perez said he "doesn't know what faith" supporters of President Trump are worshipping when they go to church after going to Trump rallies.

Driving the news: "I think the challenge that I see among a lot of people that go to Donald Trump rallies, and then they will go to church on Sunday, and I'm not ... I don't know what faith they are worshipping," Perez said in an interview recorded last week on a swing through Florida.

Chief Justice Roberts laments Chuck Schumer's “dangerous” comments

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts walks out of the Senate chamber on Feb. 5. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts issued a rare public rebuke on Wednesday of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who blasted Trump-appointed Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh as the court weighs its first major abortion case.

What's happening: The Supreme Court heard arguments on Wednesday over a Louisiana law that requires abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital, as it considers a case that could revive abortion restrictions.