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The 15-week ban and responding challenge set up a confrontation sought by abortion opponents, who are hoping federal courts will ultimately prohibit abortions before a fetus is viable.

Within hours of Bryant signing the law, the Center for Reproductive Rights filed a lawsuit on behalf of Jackson Women's Health Organization-Mississippi's sole abortion clinic-challenging the law as unconstitutional and seeking a temporary restraining order to block it.

"The law threatens immediate, irreparable harm to Mississippians" abilities to control their "destiny and ... body.' This is especially true for one woman scheduled to have a 15-week abortion this afternoon".

On Monday, Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant signed into law a bill that bans all abortions after 15 weeks gestation except in the case of a medical emergency or a severe fetal abnormality.

Carr-Ellis, in a sworn statement, says she'll have to stop providing abortions to women past the 15 week ban, or else lose her MS medical license, as House Bill 1510 requires.

U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves late Monday scheduled arguments Tuesday morning over whether he should immediately block the law after a request by the state's only abortion clinic and a physician who works there. Carr-Ellis says women shouldn't be forced to carry their pregnancies to term against their wills or leave the state to obtain abortions. But Mississippi is pushing the envelope by banning abortion starting at 15 weeks.

The afternoon the bill was signed, a member of the 40 Days for Life prayer team stood at the entrance to Jackson Women's Health Organization.

The suit says the clinic performed 78 abortions in 2017 when the fetus was identified as being 15 weeks or older.

The law also requires doctors who perform abortions after 15 weeks to submit reports detailing the circumstances of each case.

The lawsuit challenges House Bill 1510, saying federal courts have ruled women have the right to an abortion before a fetus can live on its own outside the womb. John Milkovich, would keep much of the state's existing abortion laws intact, including a sentence of up to 10 years of hard labor imprisonment and fines ranging between $10,000 to $100,000 for abortion providers.

Many states have approved abortion bans that protect unborn children after 20 weeks of pregnancy, which is the most they are able to do considering the Supreme Court refuses to allow states to ban abortions entirely. While other state legislatures have passed similar laws in the past, this is the first to be signed into law. The governor said the law "protects maternal health and will further our efforts to make MS the safest place in America for an unborn child".

A federal judge in MS will hear arguments Tuesday over whether he should block the nation's most restrictive abortion law less than 24 hours after it took effect.

Republican legislative leaders Lt. Gov Tate Reeves and House Speaker Philip Gunn both attended Bryant's private signing ceremony. It becomes law immediately and bans most abortions after 15 weeks of gestation.