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Federal judge blocks Mississippi’s fetal heartbeat law


Gorodenkoff - Shutterstock

Zelda Caldwell - published on 05/25/19

The law was set to go into effect in July.

A federal judge blocked a Mississippi law on Friday that prohibits abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected.

Judge Carlton Reeves, an appointee of former President Barack Obama, in issuing a preliminary injuction, wrote that the law “threatens immediate harm to women’s rights, especially considering most women do not seek abortions services until after six weeks.”

“Allowing the law to take effect would force the clinic to stop providing most abortion care,” wrote Reeves.

“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.”

The law which was set to go into effect on July 1, permitted abortions after the detection of a fetal heartbeat only in cases when a woman’s life or health was at risk.

Upon signing the bill in March, Gov. Phil Bryon wrote on Twitter, “I will say in this instance, ‘I fought for the lives of innocent babies, even under threat of legal action.’”

Mississippi is one of four states where legislation “heartbeat laws” passed. The others states are Georgia, Kentucky and Ohio.

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