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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

2 hours ago - Health

Beware a Thanksgiving mirage

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Don't be surprised if COVID metrics plunge over the next few days, only to spike next week.

Why it matters: The COVID Tracking Project warns of a "double-weekend pattern" on Thanksgiving — where the usual weekend backlog of data is tacked on to a holiday.

Trump pardons Michael Flynn

President Trump with Michael Flynn in 2016. Photo: David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images

President Trump on Wednesday pardoned his former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty in the Mueller investigation to lying to FBI agents about his conversations with a former Russian ambassador.

Why it matters: It is the first of multiple pardons expected in the coming weeks, as Axios scooped Tuesday night.