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Judge Rules on State's Abortion Law: 'Here We Go Again'

Judge Carlton Reeves places temporary block on 'heartbeat' law in Mississippi
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 25, 2019 6:00 AM CDT
Signs placed by abortion rights activists are displayed on the front security gating of the Jackson Women's Health Organization, Mississippi's only commercial abortion clinic, in Jackson, Miss., on Jan....   (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

(Newser) – "Here we go again." Those were the words of Judge Carlton Reeves as he handed down a new ruling on Mississippi's "heartbeat" abortion law, and his decision didn't come down on the side of the state. The AP reports Reeves issued a ruling Friday that placed a temporary block on the stringent abortion law set to take effect July 1, which would've banned most abortions as soon as the fetal heartbeat could be found, usually around six weeks. "Allowing the law to take effect would force the clinic to stop providing most abortion care," Reeves wrote in his ruling, per CNN. "By banning abortions after the detection of a fetal heartbeat, the law prevents a woman's free choice, which is central to personal dignity and autonomy."

He added that such a ban "threatens immediate harm to women's rights, especially considering most women do not seek abortions services until after six weeks." Reeves' "here we go again" remark was spurred because he was the same judge who struck down the state's attempt last year to put a 15-week abortion ban into place; his block on that law is still being appealed by the state. "It sure smacks of defiance to this court," Reeves said of state lawmakers who tried to pass the even more-rigid six-week law. GOP Gov. Phil Bryant is frustrated by the latest ruling. "As governor, I've pledged to do all I can to protect life," he says, per the AP. "Time and time again the Legislature and I have done just that." (Two big names just filed suit over Alabama's abortion law.)

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