A U.S. federal judge has struck down a Mississippi law banning abortions after 15 weeks.
Judge Carlton Reeves has put a hold on the ruling, stating that it “unequivocally” violates women’s constitutional rights. The bill had been passed in March by Republican governor Phil Bryant, but immediately afterwards, the state's lone abortion clinic sued, putting the law on hold.
According to Rawstory, the decision was made after the state’s abortion clinic, Jackson Women’s Health Organization, immediately sued.
According to law, states may not ban abortions before a fetus is viable -typically between 23 and 24 weeks.
“The real reason we are here is simple. The state chose to pass a law it knew was unconstitutional to endorse a decades-long campaign, fueled by national interest groups, to ask the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade,” Reeves wrote.
“This court follows the commands of the Supreme Court and the dictates of the United States Constitution, rather than the disingenuous calculations of the Mississippi Legislature,” he added.
“Today’s decision should be a wake-up call for state lawmakers who are continuously trying to chip away at abortion access,” Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights. The center had filed the suit on behalf of the clinic.
"A pregnancy to a woman is perhaps one of the most determinative aspects of her life," Reeves wrote
"The fact that men, myself included, are determining how women may choose to manage their reproductive health is a sad irony not lost on the court.
"As a man, who cannot get pregnant or seek an abortion, I can only imagine the anxiety and turmoil a woman might experience when she decides whether to terminate her pregnancy through an abortion. Respecting her autonomy demands that this statute be enjoined."