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AG Wilson Defends Mississippi Law Limiting Abortion After 15 Weeks

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – July 21, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson late Monday afternoon filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the United States Supreme Court on behalf of South Carolina and 17 other States supporting a Mississippi law prohibiting non-emergency abortions past the 15th week of pregnancy.

“We’re asking the Supreme Court to follow the latest medical and scientific information and protect the lives of the unborn,” Attorney General Wilson said. “When the Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade in 1973, a baby couldn’t live outside the womb until 28 weeks’ gestation. Now, babies born at only 21 weeks have survived. The latest scientific research shows that at 15 weeks an unborn child can feel pain and that’s why Mississippi set its law there to limit abortions.”

The brief says Mississippi’s law does not ban abortions entirely or impose an undue burden on women, which means it follows Supreme Court precedents from other cases.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton led the amicus effort and said, “Abortion is not just another routine and victimless procedure. At 15 weeks, the fetus can feel the pain of being ripped apart during an abortion, and later-term abortions are proven to pose a greater risk to women’s health. Three out of four Americans agree that abortion should be restricted after the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. The Mississippi Legislature enacted this law in accordance with the beliefs of its constituents and the precedents of the United States Supreme Court. It should be upheld.”

In March 2018, Mississippi enacted the Gestational Age Act, which was declared unconstitutional by a U.S. District Court despite legislative findings that an unborn baby can sense stimulation from the outside world and has developed all basic physiological functions at just 12 weeks.

Read a copy of the amicus brief here.