A federal judge cited the dignity of women in his decision Friday to block Mississippi’s pro-life “heartbeat bill” that would place stringent restrictions on abortions.

“Here we go again,” said Judge Carlton Reeves. “Mississippi has passed another law banning abortions prior to viability.”

Mississippi was just one state that has passed bills banning abortion of unborn children once a heartbeat can be detected. Opponents of such bills say a heartbeat can be detected often before the woman can suspect she’s pregnant.

“By banning abortions after the detection of a fetal heartbeat, SB 226 prevents a woman’s free choice, which is central to personal dignity and autonomy,” added Judge Reeves.

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant signed the bill in March, but the court order places a preliminary injunction that prevents the law from being implemented.

The Mississippi law has exceptions for when the life of the mother is threatened by the pregnancy, but not for pregnancies as a result of rape or incest.

Some pro-life advocates hope that a challenge of a heartbeat bill will lead to the U.S. Supreme Court overturning the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion in 1963.

Here’s the latest on the abortion debate:

Federal judge blocks law making most Mississippi abortions illegal


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