Mississippi 6-week abortion ban heads to federal court

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By Associated Press

A federal judge who struck down Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban last year is hearing arguments about a new law that puts the ban even earlier.

The law would prohibit most abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected, at about six weeks, when many women may not know they’re pregnant.

Republican Gov. Phil Bryant signed it in March, and the state’s only abortion clinic, Jackson Women’s Health Organization, sued the state.

U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves is hearing arguments Tuesday on the clinic’s request that he block the law from taking effect July 1. It was unclear whether Reeves would issue an immediate decision.