Judge won’t block law banning most abortions in Mississippi

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A Mississippi judge on Tuesday denied a request by the state’s only abortion clinic to temporarily block a state law that would ban most abortions.

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A Mississippi judge on Tuesday denied a request by the state’s only abortion clinic to temporarily block a state law that would ban most abortions.

Without further development in the clinic’s lawsuit, the law will go into effect on Thursday.

The clinic recently filed a lawsuit seeking to block the state from enforcing the law, citing constitutional issues. This 2007 “trigger” law was set to come into effect if the U.S. Supreme Court ever overturned the landmark Roe v. Wade who legalized abortion nationwide. The country’s High Court took this momentous step last month.

The clinic’s attorneys requested a temporary restraining order to stop the trigger law, but Judge Debbra K. Halford denied that request.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s previous story follows below.

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Lawyers sparred on Tuesday over abortion laws in three Southern states in response to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that gave states the power to limit or ban abortion. termination of pregnancy.

In Mississippi, a judge held a hearing but did not say how or when she would rule on a lawsuit brought by the state’s only abortion clinic, which is trying to stay open by blocking a law that would ban most abortions in the state.

The law is due to come into force on Thursday. Lawmakers passed it recently in the U.S. Supreme Court reversed the 1973 ruling that allowed abortions nationwide.

The clinic, Jackson Women’s Health Organization, is seeking a temporary restraining order that would allow it to remain open, at least while the trial is ongoing.

The closely watched trial is part of a nationwide flurry of activity since the Supreme Court ruling. conservative states have decided to stop or limit abortions while others have sought to guarantee the right to abortion, as have some women trying to get the medical procedure in the face of the changing legal landscape.

Florida’s new 15-week abortion ban stalled but quickly reinstated Tuesday, following an appeal by the state attorney general in a lawsuit challenging the restriction. Judge John C. Cooper issued the order temporarily suspending the law after reproductive health providers argued that the state constitution guarantees a right to process. The state quickly appealed its order, automatically reinstating the law.

Florida law prohibits abortions after 15 weeks, with exceptions if the procedure is necessary to save the pregnant woman’s life, avoid serious injury, or if the fetus has a life-threatening abnormality. It does not allow exemptions for pregnancies caused by rape, incest or human trafficking.

Violators could face up to five years in prison. Doctors and other medical professionals could lose their license and face administrative fines of $10,000 for each violation. The law, which took effect Friday, was passed by the GOP-controlled legislature and signed by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis this spring.

In Louisiana, the the state’s attorney general has asked the state’s Supreme Court to allow enforcement of a ban on most abortions. Louisiana’s anti-abortion laws include so-called triggers that were designed to take effect instantly should the US Supreme Court strike down abortion rights. But a state judge in New Orleans last week blocked law enforcement pending a hearing on a lawsuit filed by a northern Louisiana abortion clinic and others.

The Louisiana lawsuit says the law is unclear about when the ban takes effect and the medical exceptions to the ban. The filing filed Tuesday by the attorney general’s office says the restraining order should be dissolved.

In Mississippi, if Chancery Judge Debbra K. Halford grants the clinic’s request to block new state law from taking effect, the decision could be quickly appealed to the Mississippi Supreme Court. the state. Halford presided over a hearing without rendering a ruling from the bench.

Mississippi was one of several states whose “trigger” law depended on the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade. The law was passed in 2007 and has never been challenged in court. It says abortion will only be legal if the life of the pregnant woman is in danger or if a pregnancy is caused by rape reported to law enforcement. There is no exception for pregnancies caused by incest.

The clinic’s lawsuit cites a 1998 Mississippi Supreme Court ruling that the state constitution invokes a right to privacy that “includes an implied right to choose whether or not to have an abortion.”

The state attorney general’s office argued that the 1998 ruling was rooted in U.S. Supreme Court decisions in 1973 and 1992 that established or protected the right to abortion, but were overturned on June 24. But Rob McDuff, an attorney for the clinic, argued that state judges had never said their decision was made because of the federal Constitution.

“They never said it would evaporate if Roe was ever canceled,” McDuff said in court Tuesday.

The state attorney general’s office said the Mississippi Constitution does not recognize the right to an abortion and the state has long restricted the procedure.

“Over the past two weeks, the state of the law has changed dramatically,” state Solicitor General Scott Stewart said in court on Tuesday.

The lawsuit was filed three days after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in a case originating in Mississippi. The clinic continued to see patients, but owner Diane Derzis said it would close if the near-ban on abortions takes effect.

Outside the courthouse on Tuesday in the Mississippi capital, several women held up signs supporting abortion rights as two men took turns using a microphone to tell abortion-rights supporters that God would punish them for eternity.

“You are bloodthirsty. Abominable, bloodthirsty filth in the eyes of God,” said one of the anti-abortion protesters, Allen Siders. “Consider your ways today, sinners. Consider your ways today. Shame on you.

An abortion rights supporter performed an improvised dance in front of Siders to mock him, and several women laughed.


Anthony Izaguirre reported from Tallahassee, Fla., and Kevin McGill reported from New Orleans.

Emily Wagster Pettus, Anthony Izaguirre and Kevin Mcgill, Associated Press

Carol N. Valencia