“Here We Go Again”: A Federal Judge Just Blocked Mississippi’s Six-Week Abortion Ban

This is the second abortion ban he has overturned in the past year.

Supporters outside the last abortion clinic in Mississippi in 2013. Suzi Altman/Zuma

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

“Here we go again.” So begins the preliminary injunction by US District Judge Carlton Reeves, who on Friday blocked a six-week abortion ban from going into effect in Mississippi. Six months ago, Reeves also found a 15-week ban passed by the state Legislature unconstitutional, a bill that he called “pure gaslighting.” Mississippi’s only remaining abortion clinic filed the lawsuit against the ban. 

“Allowing the law to take effect would force the clinic to stop providing most abortion care,” Reeves wrote. “S.B. 2116 prevents a woman’s free choice, which is central to personal dignity and autonomy.” The law was set to go into effect in July. 

In recent months, a wave of abortion restrictions have emerged from statehouses across the country, including a near-total ban passed in Alabama last week. Some anti-abortion advocates are hopeful that the extreme measures will cause the Supreme Court to reconsider its ruling on Roe v. Wade, the seminal 1973 ruling that legalized abortion nationwide. 

“The Supreme Court has never wavered in its holding in Roe,” Hillary Schneller, an attorney at the Center for Reproductive Rights, told Mother Jones. The organization, which filed the lawsuit against the Mississippi ban on behalf of the state’s last abortion clinic, is currently litigating about two dozen other cases regarding abortion restrictions. As for a possible state challenge to the injunction, Schneller said, “It’s not a hard case for any federal court to decide. It continues to reaffirm that clear principle that the court has affirmed time and time again.”

Reeves concurred in his opinion: “If a fetus is not viable at 15 weeks, it is not viable at 6 weeks.” 

Read the whole order here: 


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend