Attorney General set to file appeal over ‘heartbeat bill’ ruling

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Tomorrow, Attorney General Jim Hood will file the state’s appeal after a federal judge recently ruled that the ‘heartbeat bill’ passed by the legislature was unconstitutional. 

“Tomorrow, I will file the state’s appeal in support of the fetal heartbeat bill with the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Not only do I have a statutory duty to defend the laws passed by our Legislature, but the Fifth Circuit has not yet ruled on this issue,” Hood said in brief statement. 

Related: Federal judge blocks Mississippi’s ‘heartbeat’ abortion law

In May, U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves ruled that the bill, which prohibits abortion in Mississippi as soon as a fetal heartbeat is detected, “threatens immediate harm to women’s rights”. 

The decision came as a result of a lawsuit filed by the Center for Reproductive Rights and the Jackson Women’s Health Organization – the state’s lone abortion clinic. 

In court, both organizations argued that, if enacted, the new law would effectively ban abortion in Mississippi because most women don’t know that they are pregnant when a fetal heartbeat can first be detected, which is typically around 6 weeks.

Mississippi’s bill did not include exceptions for incest or rape. An abortion could only be performed if the mother’s life was at risk.

The bill was set become law on July 1st.

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