Mississippi’s Heartbeat Abortion Ban was struck down by the Fifth Circuit Court’s decision on Thursday. The controversial “Heartbeat Abortion Ban” would ban abortions occurring after 6 weeks of pregnancy. Despite national outcry, the ban was signed in to law by Gov. Phil Bryant on March 21, 2019.
Since the Governor’s signature, the ban has been under attack by the Center for Reproductive Rights, the law firm that challenged the state law. According to Shannon Brewer, the director of Jackson Women’s Health Organization, permitting this ban would essentially result in women losing their ability to have an abortion before they even became aware of the pregnancy.
This significant court decision will place a temporary ban on the law going into effect, which uphold’s a lower federal court’s holding from May 2019. Notably, the Fifth Circuit also struck down a 15-week abortion ban passed by Mississippi in December 2019. This latest court decision declares that “[A]ll agree that cardiac activity can be detected well before the fetus is viable. That dooms the law. If a ban on abortion after 15 weeks is unconstitutional, then it follows that a ban on abortion at an earlier stage of pregnancy is also unconstitutional.”
Mississippi has been joined by numerous other states that tried to pass abortion laws that undermine Roe v. Wade (1973). Every single one of these attempts to challenge Roe v. Wade have resulted in being blocked by federal judges. Many are expecting SCOTUS to grant certiorari on this matter eventually.