AUSTIN January 17, 2019 - Attorney General Ken Paxton joined Louisiana’s friend-of-the-court brief which was filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in support of Mississippi as it seeks en banc review of a law prohibiting non-emergency abortions past the 15th week of pregnancy.
Mississippi enacted the Gestational Age Act in March 2018. One abortion clinic in Mississippi, which provides a few abortions during the 15th week of pregnancy and none after the 16th week, immediately filed a challenge to this law. A U.S. District Court declared the law unconstitutional, despite legislative findings that an unborn baby can sense stimulation from the outside world and has developed all basic physiological functions at 12 weeks.
“The Mississippi Legislature enacted this law in accordance with the beliefs of its constituents and the precedents of the United States Supreme Court. Three out of four Americans agree that abortion should be restricted after the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, based on ample evidence that abortion harms both the mother and the unborn child. The voters have a clear interest in preventing such suffering, protecting the health of women, and preserving the dignity of human life,” said Attorney General Paxton. “At just 15 weeks, unborn babies may experience pain when they’re killed in their mother’s womb, and it is well documented that later-term abortions pose greater risks to women’s health. We urge the Fifth Circuit to recognize that an abortion is not just another routine and victimless procedure and to uphold these reasonable regulations to protect women and children.”