Mississippi’s heartbeat bill remains in limbo

Written by Meredith Duffy, CNN

There’s been a lot of talk about keeping the “heartbeat” ban in Mississippi, but things are looking even more uncertain for women in the state. A federal court has granted an injunction blocking a similar law passed in Alabama and on Tuesday, court judges in three other states — Wisconsin, Nebraska and Tennessee — issued similar rulings.

According to a spokesperson from the Mississippi Attorney General’s office, women in the state won’t get a reprieve. Mississippi’s bill only applies to abortions performed more than 24 weeks into a pregnancy.

In 2015, Mississippi became the first Southern state to ban most abortions after 15 weeks into a pregnancy, putting women in some of the country’s most rural areas at an even greater disadvantage. At the time, the ban was immediately challenged in federal court.

In his ruling on Tuesday, a federal judge in Mississippi described the bill as “more rationally related to an interest in protecting the health of the unborn child than to promoting an interest in the life of the mother.”

State lawmakers targeted by the ACLU planned to reintroduce the abortion bill in the state House and Senate. Legal experts say that any challenge will likely be decided by the US Supreme Court before that month.

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