Constitutional Law

5th Circuit blocks Mississippi's ban on abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected

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For the second time in a little more than two months’ time, a federal appeals court has blocked a Mississippi law restricting abortion.

In a decision Thursday, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at New Orleans upheld an injunction blocking a law that criminalizes abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, which can be as soon as six weeks.

The law is doomed because the fetal heartbeat is detected before viability, making the ban “unconstitutional under Supreme Court precedent,” the appeals court said.

Bloomberg Law, CNN and the Associated Press have coverage.

The court ruled in a challenge by Mississippi’s only abortion clinic.

In December, the 5th Circuit had blocked a Mississippi law that bans abortions after 15 weeks. The full 5th Circuit refused to reconsider the decision.

State officials said in January they want the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the 15-week case, according to the AP.

See also: “Chemerinsky: Stakes are high as SCOTUS considers 2 major abortion cases” “Recent changes in SCOTUS raise the stakes in upcoming abortion case” “8th Circuit strikes down strict abortion law but questions fetal viability standard”

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