Jackson, Miss., Oct 7, 2019 / 10:06 am America/Denver (CNA).
A federal appeals court is considering a Mississippi law ban most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. The law was signed in 2018 but is not currently in effect.
The law allows abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy only when the mother's life or a major bodily function is in danger, or when the unborn child has a severe abnormality and is not expected to be able to live outside the womb at full term. Exceptions are not granted for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest.
Under the law, physicians knowingly in violation can lose their state medical licenses, and receive a civil penalty of up to $500 if they falsify records about the circumstances of the procedure.
Republican Gov. Phil Bryant signed the legislation March 19, 2018, saying, “I am committed to making Mississippi the safest place in America for an unborn child, and this bill will help us achieve that goal.”
The law was immediately challenged by the Center for Reproductive Rights, which argued that the Supreme Court has held that states may not restrict abortion before the unborn baby is viable - around 23 or 24 weeks.