A Judge Just Blocked the Nation’s Most Restrictive Abortion Law

The constitutionality of Mississippi’s ban on abortions after 15 weeks is being called into question.

Supporters of the pro-choice movement and the Jackson Women's Health Organization on the 40th anniversary of Roe v Wade in 2013. Suzi Altman/ZUMA

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Less than 24 hours after Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant signed the nation’s most restrictive abortion ban into law, a judge has granted a temporary restraining order against the law in response to a suit filed by the Center for Reproductive Rights and Mississippi’s sole abortion clinic.

“The law threatens immediate, irreparable harm to Mississippians’ abilities to control their ‘destiny and . . . body,'” District Judge Carlton Reeves wrote in his brief, two-page decision on Tuesday. “This is especially true for one woman scheduled to have a 15-week abortion this afternoon.”

The law, which makes abortions after 15 weeks illegal, only allows exceptions in cases in which the mother’s life is in danger or there is a fetal abnormality that is “incompatible with life.” The Center for Reproductive Rights and Jackson Women’s Health Organization filed suit yesterday afternoon challenging the constitutionality of the law, shortly after the governor signed the bill, which took effect immediately. 

Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights won a permanent injunction over a separate Mississippi law that had required abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a local hospital—a move that allowed the embattled abortion clinic to remain open. 

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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