A federal judge blocked Mississippi abortion bill S.B. 2116 on Friday, and began his order by saying “here we go again.”
U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves garnered attention in recent months while accepting the Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medal in Law at the University of Virginia School of Law. During that speech, Reeves cited President Donald Trump‘s tweets and comments to illustrate his belief that the country is at risk as it was during the days of segregation and the KKK.
The Mississippi bill, which was set to go into effect in July, would have prohibited abortions after the detection of a fetal heartbeat (as early as six weeks of pregnancy).
As we alluded to in the opening, the first words of Reeves’ order were “Here we go again.”
“The parties have been here before. Last spring, plaintiffs successfully challenged Mississippi’s ban on abortion after 15 weeks. The Court ruled that the law was unconstitutional and permanently enjoined its enforcement,” Reeves said. “The State responded by passing an even more restrictive bill, S.B. 2116.”
“S.B. 2116 threatens immediate harm to women’s rights, especially considering most women do not seek abortion services until after 6 weeks,” Reeves continued. “Allowing the law to take effect would force the clinic to stop providing most abortion care.”
Reeves said that to allow this bill to go into effect would be to allow an affront to women’s “personal dignity and autonomy.”
“[B]anning abortions after the detection of a fetal heartbeat, S.B. 2116 prevents a woman’s free choice, which is central to personal dignity and autonomy,” Reeves concluded. “This injury outweighs any interest the State might have in banning abortions after the detection of a fetal heartbeat.”
“Any delay in the enforcement of S.B. 2116 will serve the public interest by protecting this established right and the rule of law.” he added, granting a preliminary injunction to block the enforcement of the bill.
Ronn Blitzer contributed to this report.
[Image via Millsaps College screengrab]