If you have an abortion in Mississippi, you could face jail time and fines for violating the state’s fugitive slave statute.
A federal judge ruled Monday that the state law is unconstitutional because it allows for “felony arrest and imprisonment without bond” for women seeking abortions in Mississippi.
Mississippi has a higher felony rate than any other state in the country, according to the most recent figures available.
The state has a population of nearly 13 million.
The Mississippi Supreme Court ruled in August that the law violated the U.S. Constitution’s Due Process Clause because it permits an individual to be arrested and jailed without having to prove he or she has a valid reason to be.
The decision was a victory for the pro-life group the National Center for Reproductive Rights, which brought the lawsuit.
The organization said the statute is “a brazen attempt to punish women seeking safe, legal abortions in the state.”
It was also a victory to the anti-abortion activists who sued the state to stop the law from taking effect.
They argued that the bill violates the Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause and the 14th Amendment’s Due Citizens Protection Clause, which guarantee the equal rights of all Americans.
“If we’re going to punish people for having an abortion, we’re just going to have to find another way,” said Rachel Stiles, the center’s legislative director.
The court did not immediately rule on whether to extend the injunction, but Stiles said that if it did, it would be a victory.
The ruling was a “big win for women who have to make tough decisions, especially if they’re pregnant,” she said.
The Center for Medical Progress, a nonprofit organization that has criticized the law, said it will appeal the ruling.
It will be interesting to see if the Mississippi Supreme court agrees, said the group’s legal director, David Daleiden.
The Mississippi Supreme was appointed by Gov.
Phil Bryant, who is a Republican.
Missouri’s statute also does not have an exception for rape victims, which is a common provision in state law.
The abortion law is in response to an increase in women seeking an abortion from 12,000 to more than 22,000 a month.
The number of abortions performed in Mississippi has dropped by about 80 percent since the 2010 election, when a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction that required the state, as a condition of receiving federal funding, to adopt the new law.
The judge has yet to rule on the injunction.
The state’s Republican Gov.
Jay Nixon has argued that he signed the law to help women in the Mississippi Delta who have difficulty obtaining abortions.
He told reporters in September that the legislature was looking to “defeat the epidemic.”
But the antiabortion group NARAL Pro-Choice America said Monday that that assertion was false.
The group said the law had no impact on the Delta’s abortion rate.
“Mississipians have been given an ultimatum: get an abortion or pay the cost,” the group said.
MissISSippi’s abortion law would require doctors to inform a patient about the risks of an abortion and to refer the woman to an abortion provider who would perform the procedure if it was necessary.
Abortion is generally not covered under the federal health insurance exchanges set up by the Affordable Care Act, which have made it easier for poor people and low-income people to obtain health insurance.
The federal government is currently reviewing whether to fund Planned Parenthood and other providers that provide abortion care in Mississippi under the Medicaid program.
The case is Mississippi v.
Casey, U.A.P. et al, U, et al. (No. 12-2026).