Mississippi judge to hear challenge to abortion law by state's only clinic
The law — which state lawmakers passed before the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the 1973 ruling that allowed abortions nationwide — is set to take effect Thursday.
A judge is holding a hearing Tuesday to consider a lawsuit filed by Mississippi's only abortion clinic, which is trying to remain open by blocking a law that would ban most abortions in the state.
The law — which state lawmakers passed before the US Supreme Court overturned the 1973 ruling that allowed abortions nationwide — is set to take effect Thursday.
The Jackson Women's Health Organization sought a temporary restraining order that would allow it to remain open, at least while the lawsuit remains in court.
The closely watched lawsuit is part of a flurry of activity that has occurred nationwide since the Supreme Court ruled. Conservative states have moved to halt or limit abortions while others have sought to ensure abortion rights, all as some women try to obtain the medical procedure against the changing legal landscape.
Meanwhile a Florida judge on Tuesday temporarily blocked a new 15-week abortion ban days after it took effect in the state, an expected move following an oral ruling last week in which he said the law violated the state constitution.
In Mississippi, if Chancery Judge Debbra K. Halford grants the clinic’s request to block the new state law from taking effect, the decision could be quickly appealed to the state Supreme Court.
The new Mississippi law says abortion will be legal only if the pregnant woman’s life is in danger or if a pregnancy is caused by a rape reported to law enforcement. It does not have an exception for pregnancies caused by incest.
Mississippi was one of several states with a “trigger” law contingent on the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade. The law was passed in 2007 and has never been challenged in court.
The clinic’s lawsuit cites a 1998 Mississippi Supreme Court ruling that said the state constitution invokes a right to privacy that “includes an implied right to choose whether or not to have an abortion.” That state decision was rooted in U.S. Supreme Court decisions in 1973 and 1992 that established or protected abortion rights but were overturned on June 24.
In arguments filed Sunday, the state attorney general’s office said the Mississippi Constitution does not recognize a right to abortion and the state has a long history of restricting the procedure.
“Text, history, and precedent all show that the Mississippi Constitution does not protect a right to abortion and that the laws here are valid,” the attorney general’s office wrote.
The lawsuit was filed three days after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in a case that originated in Mississippi.
The clinic has continued to see patients, but owner Diane Derzis said it will close if the near-ban on abortions takes effect.
Finland prime minister Sanna Marin found herself in the midst of a controversy after hosting a party for her friends at her private home; a video of the party went viral on social media. The video - which features six people, including Marin - shows them dancing and singing. Sanna Marin has also reacted to the matter, clarifying that she was only partying and not using drugs herself.
Xinjiang Military Command, which oversees the border with India, tested a surface-to-air missile in a high-altitude area of Xinjiang, bringing down a targeted aircraft, reports said. China's national broadcaster, CCTV, reported on August 15, India's Independence Day, that the Xinjiang command conducted live-fire drills with a “new type of surface-to-air missile” at an altitude of more than 4,500 metres (14,760 feet), the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post said in a report.
Tanzania has installed high-speed internet services on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro, allowing anyone with a smartphone to tweet, Instagram or WhatsApp their ascent up Africa's highest mountain. State-owned Tanzania Telecommunications Corporation set up the broadband network on Tuesday at an altitude of 3,720 metres (12,200 feet), with Information Minister Nape Nnauye calling the event historic. He said the summit of the 5,895-metre (19,300-foot) mountain would have internet connectivity by the end of the year.
The 24-year-old man charged with the attempted murder of Salman Rushdie has denied being in contact with Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps and said that he acted alone when he stabbed the Mumbai-born author, whom he disliked for being "disingenuous". In a video interview to the New York Post from Chautauqua County Jail, Matar said that “When I heard he survived, I was surprised, I guess.”
A large Canadian parliamentary committee delegation is planning to visit the Chinese-claimed island of Taiwan in October, local media reported on Wednesday, a development that could further worsen relations between Ottawa and Beijing. Eight members of Canada's House of Commons standing committee on international trade are expected to travel to Taiwan, including many who are members of the Canada-Taiwan Friendship Group in the parliament, Canadian media reported.