Mississippi just passed a new law that prohibits abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
According to Reuters, Republican Governor Phil Bryant signed the law that would go into effect immediately.
Bryant said in a statement, “I am committed to making Mississippi the safest place in America for an unborn child, and this bill will help us achieve that goal.”
The law includes provisions for “severe fetal abnormality or a medical emergency,” meaning cases of rape or incest would not be eligible for an abortion.
There’s only one abortion provider in Mississippi, Jackson Women’s Health Organization.
After an immediate request from the clinic and a physician who works there, U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves scheduled arguments Tuesday morning over whether he should immediately block the law from going into effect.
The Center for Reproductive Rights filed the suit on behalf of Jackson Women’s Health Organization to block the law, claiming it was unconstitutional to prohibit abortion before the fetus is viable.
Mississippi previously tied with North Carolina for the nation’s strictest abortion limits at 20 weeks. Both states count pregnancy as beginning on the first day of a woman’s previous menstrual period. That means Mississippi’s previous restrictions already kicked in about two weeks before those of states whose 20-week bans begin at conception.
Considering many women typically don’t discover they’re pregnant until about about five to six weeks after conception, according to Self, the law limits access particularly for women who would have to save up enough money for the procedure.
Advocates are hoping the law will be struck down like previous restrictions in North Dakota (six weeks) and Arkansas (12 weeks).
The bill was drafted with the assistance of conservative groups including the Mississippi Center for Public Policy and the Alliance Defending Freedom.
“We believe this law should be a model for the rest of the country,” Jameson Taylor, acting president of the Mississippi Center for Public Policy, said in a statement.
It is possible that this challenge may end up at the Supreme Court, where the state could challenge how much time women have to exercise their right to an abortion.