US judge extends hold on Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A federal judge is again extending his temporary block on one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the U.S.

The Mississippi law bans abortion after 15 weeks. Mississippi’s only abortion clinic sued when Republican Gov. Phil Bryant signed it March 19.

U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves issued a temporary restraining order March 20 to keep the state from enforcing the law. Reeves has now extended the order multiple times — most recently Thursday, when he extended it until Nov. 26.

The law and the responding lawsuit set up a confrontation sought by abortion opponents, who are hoping federal courts will ultimately prohibit abortions before a fetus is viable. Current federal law does not.

An Iowa law, also challenged in court, bans most abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected.

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