JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The nation’s most restrictive abortion law is headed for a showdown before a federal judge only hours after it was signed by Mississippi’s governor.

U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves late Monday scheduled arguments this 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.

Republican Gov. Phil Bryant signed House Bill 1510 on Monday, immediately banning most abortions after 15 weeks of gestation. The effect of the law will be felt immediately in Mississippi — Dr. Sacheen Carr- Ellis of the Jackson Women’s Health Organization stated in court papers that a woman 15 weeks or more pregnant was scheduled for an abortion this afternoon.

The law 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. Current federal law does not.

Some legal experts have said a change in the law is unlikely unless the makeup of the U.S. Supreme Court changes in a way that favors abortion opponents.



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