The Latest: Federal judge questions Mississippi’s new abortion law

Published 12:28 pm Tuesday, May 21, 2019

A federal judge who struck down Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban last year is sharply questioning a new state law that bans abortions even earlier.

The new law prohibits most abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected. That’s at about six weeks, when many women may not know they are pregnant.

During a hearing Tuesday, attorneys for the state’s only abortion clinic asked U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves to block the law from taking effect July 1.

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He said he would decide soon, but didn’t specify when.

Reeves noted the law has no exceptions for rape or incest. He asked state attorneys whether the law would require a 10- or 11-year-old girl who is impregnated by rape to carry the pregnancy to term if she waits too long to tell anyone what happened.