Mississippi's only abortion clinic sues state over nation's most restrictive ban

Mississippi's only abortion clinic sues state over nation's most restrictive ban

Mississippi’s only abortion clinic sued state officials within an hour of the governor signing the country’s most restrictive abortion ban into law, The Associated Press reported Monday.

The Jackson Women’s Health Organization, along with one of the physicians who works for the clinic, sued in federal court over the new ban on abortions after 15 weeks, claiming that the measure is unconstitutional.

“Under decades of United States Supreme Court precedent, the state of Mississippi cannot ban abortion prior to viability, regardless of what exceptions are provided to the ban,” the complaint reads.

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Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant (R) signed the ban into law earlier Monday.

The new law bans most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, down from the state’s previous 20 weeks.

The measure, which went into effect immediately, includes some exceptions, like if a woman’s life or a “major bodily function” is threatened or if the fetus has a health problem that would mean it likely wouldn't survive outside the womb.

However, the law doesn’t allow for exemptions in cases of rape or incest.

The clinic argues in the lawsuit that it performed 78 abortions in 2017 that took place at 15 weeks or later into the pregnancy. About 2,500 abortions were performed in the state last year, with most of them taking place at the clinic.

The Center for Reproductive Rights is reportedly handling the lawsuit.

“Politicians are not above the rule of law, and we are confident this dangerous bill will be struck down like every similar attempt before it,” Center for Reproductive Rights President and CEO Nancy Northup said in a statement obtained by the AP.