Updated Mar 20, 2018

Federal judge temporarily halts Mississippi’s abortion law

Pro-choice advocates rally outside of the U.S. Supreme Court in 2016. Drew Angerer / Getty Images

A federal judge on Tuesday temporarily blocked a Mississippi law banning abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy, which was said to be one of the most restrictive abortion policies in the country.

The ruling: The presiding judge ruled that the state "shall not enforce" the law for 10 days and that the court "will take expedited briefing on whether it should issue a preliminary injunction and whether that relief should be consolidated with a trial on the merits."

The details: The standstill comes less than a day after Republican Gov. Phil Bryant signed the bill into law, which triggered an immediate rebuke from abortion rights supporters and women's heath organizations. The challenge was filed by state’s only abortion clinic, the Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

The backdrop: In the filing requesting the halt, Dr. Sacheen Carr-Ellis says she’ll have to stop providing abortions to women past 15 weeks of pregnancy — or she would lose her state medical license under the new law. She said the clinic has “one patient past 14 weeks, 6 days [and is] scheduled for an abortion” on Tuesday afternoon. “That patient will be turned away, unless a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction has been issued.”

  • The lawsuit said the law is unconstitutional and should be immediately struck down.
  • "Under decades of United States Supreme Court precedent, the state of Mississippi cannot ban abortion prior to viability, regardless of what exceptions are provided to the ban," the suit reads.

Go deeper

Cuomo: Engaging in politics during coronavirus crisis is "anti-American"

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said during a Monday press briefing that he won't get into a political tussle with President Trump — calling it "counterproductive" and "anti-American" — as his state deals with the most confirmed coronavirus cases in the country.

The backdrop: Trump said during an appearance on "Fox & Friends" earlier Monday that Cuomo has received high polling numbers during the outbreak because New York has received federal aid.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 755,591 — Total deaths: 36,211 — Total recoveries: 158,527.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in confirmed cases. Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 148,089 — Total deaths: 2,599 — Total recoveries: 4,886.
  3. Federal government latest: The White House will extend its social distancing guidelines until April 30 — Navy hospital ship arrives in Manhattan.
  4. State updates: At least 30 states have issued stay-at-home orders to residents. — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said more than 9,500 people have been hospitalized.
  5. Business latest: Macy's will furlough the majority of it's workers this week, as the chain's stores remain closed.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Axios co-founder Roy Schwartz discusses his experience being diagnosed with the virus.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Maryland and Virginia issue coronavirus stay-at-home orders

Data: Axios reporting; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam issued stay-at-home orders on Monday, with exceptions for residents engaged in essential services, including health care and government functions.

The big picture: The states are the latest to announce policies to enforce social distancing, which have affected almost 250 million Americans. More than 1.5 billion people worldwide had been asked to stay home as of last week.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 1 hour ago - Health