Mississippi's attorney general says it could be tough to defend a bill lawmakers have passed banning most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. "I'd like to see this go all the way back up to the Supreme Court". Because of necessary paperwork, it won't reach his desk until next week.
The bill passed out of the Senate yesterday. Republican Gov. Phil Bryant has said he'll sign the bill.
For decades, the U.S. Supreme Court has been telling states that they can't ban abortions before a fetus can survive outside the womb on its own. "This bill will do nothing to make abortion safer or support a woman's decision-making", Collins said.
"We certainly think this bill is unconstitutional", said Katherine Klein, equality advocacy coordinator for the American Civil Liberties Union of Mississippi. It's just completely unfounded and a court has never upheld anything under the 20-week viability marker.
"It's an unconstitutional bill, it will not hold up in court, it will be challenged nearly immediately and it's is going to cost the taxpayers millions of dollars".
Anti-abortion groups applauded the measure. The center helped craft the bill. It does not allow abortion in cases involving rape or incest.
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It's unclear if a 15-week ban will move forward elsewhere. The bill adds a series of requirements for abortion clinics to comply with, including having any woman who is prescribed an abortion-inducing drug sign a form that says she has been informed of the manufacturer's instructions.
The current state law bans abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. She says the bill sends a message to women "that their state legislature is out to undermine their abortion access and reproductive health".
The owner of Mississippi's only abortion clinic has pledged to sue. "It'll be the worst thing that we do here today", said State Sen.
The bill could spark a court challenge focusing on whether states can ban abortions before fetuses can survive outside the womb. The opponents believe the decision opened a window for states to restrict abortion before a fetus is viable.
Acting President Jameson Taylor said the bill protects maternal health and "further (s) the state's interest in protecting unborn human life".
The only exceptions will be granted if the mother is considered to be a medical emergency case or if the fetus is diagnosed as suffering from severe abnormalities. For example, it tossed out a North Dakota law that banned abortions as early as six weeks into a pregnancy and an Arkansas law that banned abortions at 12 weeks.