“Here We Go Again”: A Federal Judge Just Blocked Mississippi’s Six-Week Abortion Ban

This is the second abortion ban he has overturned in the past year.

Supporters outside the last abortion clinic in Mississippi in 2013. Suzi Altman/Zuma

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

“Here we go again.” So begins the preliminary injunction by US District Judge Carlton Reeves, who on Friday blocked a six-week abortion ban from going into effect in Mississippi. Six months ago, Reeves also found a 15-week ban passed by the state Legislature unconstitutional, a bill that he called “pure gaslighting.” Mississippi’s only remaining abortion clinic filed the lawsuit against the ban. 

“Allowing the law to take effect would force the clinic to stop providing most abortion care,” Reeves wrote. “S.B. 2116 prevents a woman’s free choice, which is central to personal dignity and autonomy.” The law was set to go into effect in July. 

In recent months, a wave of abortion restrictions have emerged from statehouses across the country, including a near-total ban passed in Alabama last week. Some anti-abortion advocates are hopeful that the extreme measures will cause the Supreme Court to reconsider its ruling on Roe v. Wade, the seminal 1973 ruling that legalized abortion nationwide. 

“The Supreme Court has never wavered in its holding in Roe,” Hillary Schneller, an attorney at the Center for Reproductive Rights, told Mother Jones. The organization, which filed the lawsuit against the Mississippi ban on behalf of the state’s last abortion clinic, is currently litigating about two dozen other cases regarding abortion restrictions. As for a possible state challenge to the injunction, Schneller said, “It’s not a hard case for any federal court to decide. It continues to reaffirm that clear principle that the court has affirmed time and time again.”

Reeves concurred in his opinion: “If a fetus is not viable at 15 weeks, it is not viable at 6 weeks.” 

Read the whole order here: 

A BETTER WAY TO DO THIS?

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and we can't afford to come up short. But when a reader recently asked how being a nonprofit makes Mother Jones different from other news organizations, we realized we needed to lay this out better: Because "in absolutely every way" is essentially the answer.

So we tried to explain why your year-end donations are so essential, and we'd like your help refining our pitch about what make Mother Jones valuable and worth reading to you.

We'd also like your support of our journalism with a year-end donation if you can right now—all online gifts will be doubled until we hit our $350,000 goal thanks to an incredibly generous donor's matching gift pledge.

payment methods

A BETTER WAY TO DO THIS?

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and we can't afford to come up short. But when a reader recently asked how being a nonprofit makes Mother Jones different from other news organizations, we realized we needed to lay this out better: Because "in absolutely every way" is essentially the answer.

So we tried to explain why your year-end donations are so essential, and we'd like your help refining our pitch about what make Mother Jones valuable and worth reading to you.

We'd also like your support of our journalism with a year-end donation if you can right now—all online gifts will be doubled until we hit our $350,000 goal thanks to an incredibly generous donor's matching gift pledge.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate