Attorney General Paxton Argues In Defense Of Mississippi Abortion Ban

Chris Fox
October 08, 2019 - 6:36 am
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton

© Courtney Sacco/Caller-Times,


AUSTIN (1080 KRLD) - Attorneys from Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office Monday urged the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit to reverse a U.S. District Court decision enjoining a Mississippi law that generally restricts non-emergency abortions to the first 15 weeks of a woman’s pregnancy.

Mississippi enacted the Gestational Age Act in March 2018. The lone abortion clinic in Mississippi, which provides only a handful of 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 at just 12 weeks an unborn baby can sense stimulation from the outside world and has developed all basic physiological functions.

 “There is ample evidence that unborn babies at this stage experience pain as they are killed in their mother’s womb and that later-term abortion procedures are riskier for women,” Attorney General Paxton said. “We hope that the Fifth Circuit understands the suffering that both the mother and unborn child experience without this reasonable regulation.”

Attorney Hillary Schneller of the Center for Reproductive Rights argued against the Mississippi law before the 3-judge panel. Schneller disagreed with the Texas assertion that there was medical evidence to support their argument of fetal pain during the abortion process. “All the best medical evidence is against the state in this way. The apparent facts they have aren’t facts at all.”

Schneller’s main point before the court was that the Mississippi law violates the constitutional rights of women. “By prohibiting abortion before viability, the law clearly violates nearly fifty years of Supreme Court precedent saying that before viability it is for the woman and not the state to make the decision whether she will continue her pregnancy.”

In March, Texas and Louisiana filed an amicus brief in support of Mississippi’s abortion law, arguing that States have the right to protect unborn life in light of emerging evidence of fetal development and fetal pain.