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15 states advancing six-week abortion bans this year

Washington, DC -- Today, Mississippi’s Governor signed a dangerous and unconstitutional six-week abortion ban. This law bans abortion in the state before many women even know they are pregnant. Mississippi is one of 15 states to introduce six-week abortion bans this year as part of an aggressive anti-abortion agenda sparked by the Trump administration and the addition of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Despite state politicians and courts continuing to erode Roe v. Wade and abortion access, poll after poll shows Americans want to protect access to safe, legal abortion. If Roe is overturned, 25 million women of reproductive age could lose abortion access altogether. In Mississippi, women could immediately lose access to abortion if this new law is allowed to take effect.  

Several other states, like Oklahoma, Kentucky, and Tennessee, are actively pursuing legislation that would immediately ban abortion outright if Roe v. Wade is overturned. With Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court and Trump in the White House, it’s clear that anti-abortion politicians are emboldened -- pushing lies and misinformation about abortion and doing just about anything to make abortion inaccessible in this country.

While some politicians push these harmful policies, Trump has also ignited a powerful counter-trend in positive policies. In fact, reproductive rights advocates in more than half the states are fighting back, advancing legislation that would protect and expand access to reproductive health care including safe, legal abortion.

Statement from Dr. Leana Wen, President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America:

Mississippi’s six-week abortion ban is a dangerous policy that criminalizes a safe, standard medical procedure and will endanger women’s lives. I know firsthand just how important it is for doctors to have the ability to provide the care that our patients need. Patients must be empowered to make their own health care decisions, in consultation with their doctor and their family, and doctors must be able to provide health care to our patients without the threat of prison time. We cannot accept a world where the right to abortion care depends on where you live or how much money you make. Planned Parenthood will fight to ensure our patients have access to safe, legal abortion in Mississippi and across the country.

Statement from Staci Fox, President and Chief Executive Officer of Planned Parenthood Southeast Advocates:

SB 2116 is another devastating blow to the people of Mississippi. Just last year, the state passed an equally unconstitutional 15-week abortion ban that is already at the center of an expensive legal battle being funded by Mississippi taxpayers. So why are we here again? Because Mississippi lawmakers are playing a dangerous political game and the people of this state are little more than pawns in their national strategy to ban safe, legal abortion. In a state where people are literally dying every day because they lack access to health care, it’s time Mississippi’s lawmakers started putting people over politics.

Court after court, including in North DakotaIowaKentucky, and Mississippi, have struck down similar bans finding them unconstitutional. Yet Mississippi is ignoring well-settled law and putting women and doctors at risk in the process.

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Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With more than 600 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.

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