Following the suspension of a court ruling on Tuesday (July 5), Florida's ban on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy is now in place. While in Mississippi, a judge rejected a request from the abortion clinics to temporarily overturn the state's "trigger law" that forbids almost all abortions.
Following the U.S., the two developments were the most recent legal setbacks for proponents of abortion rights. The 1973 Roe v. Wade rule, which granted women across the country the ability to end pregnancies, was reversed by the Supreme Court about two weeks ago.
The Supreme Court upheld a different Mississippi law banning abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy on June 24. Mississippi is one of 13 states with "trigger" laws intended to outlaw or restrict abortions once Roe v Wade is overturned.
Both lawsuits are expected to go to appeal, and attorneys for the Florida abortion clinics at the ACLU and Center for Reproductive Rights have already vowed to ask for the injunction to be reinstated and to have the 15-week restriction "blocked for good."
As neighboring states have tight abortion restrictions, Florida has traditionally been a destination for Southeast women looking to terminate second-trimester pregnancies. Florida used to allow abortions for up to 24 weeks.
Nearly two dozen Republican-led states are currently attempting to prohibit abortion or have already done so thanks to the conservative majority ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court.
The ruling has sparked widespread demonstrations as well as a wave of litigation by clinics in several states to defend the right of women to get abortions based on state constitutions rather than federal ones.
Florida's Republican-led state swiftly appealed after Circuit Court Judge John Cooper issued the anticipated decision preventing the implementation of a 15-week ban that became effective on Friday, resulting in the automatic freezing of his injunction.
A few hours later, Jackson, Mississippi judge Debbra Halford rejected a motion by the state's sole abortion facility to halt the implementation of an abortion restriction that is scheduled to go into force on Thursday.
In contesting the statute and a separate six-week ban, the clinic, Jackson Women's Health Organization, cited a 1998 Mississippi Supreme Court decision declaring that the right to privacy under the state's constitution included a right to abortion.
Halford, however, asserted that given that the decision was based on the precedent set by the U.S. Supreme Court, notably Roe v. Wade, it was "more than dubious" that the state's highest court would continue to support it.
The Mississippi clinic's attorney, Rob McDuff, described the decision as disheartening and stated that they were weighing their options.
While restrictions have been temporarily overturned by courts in Kentucky, Louisiana, and Utah, Texas' state high court on Friday permitted a pre-Roe ban to be applied civilly, and Ohio's highest court declined to overturn a six-week ban.