2017 Mississippi Code
Title 41 - Public Health
Chapter 41 - Surgical or Medical Procedures; Consents
Women's Health Protection and Preborn Pain Act
§ 41-41-145. Construction; constitutional challenge

Universal Citation: MS Code § 41-41-145 (2017)
  • (1) Sections 41-41-131 through 41-41-145 shall be construed, as a matter of state law, to be enforceable up to but no further than the maximum possible extent consistent with federal constitutional requirements, even if that construction is not readily apparent, as such constructions are authorized only to the extent necessary to save Sections 41-41-131 through 41-41-145 from judicial invalidation. Judicial reformation of statutory language is explicitly authorized only to the extent necessary to save the statutory provision from invalidity.
  • (2) If any court determines that a provision of Sections 41-41-131 through 41-41-145 is unconstitutionally vague, the court shall interpret the provision, as a matter of state law, to avoid the vagueness problem and shall enforce the provision to the maximum possible extent. If a federal court finds any provision of Sections 41-41-131 through 41-41-145 or its application to any person, group of persons, or circumstances to be unconstitutionally vague and declines to impose the saving construction described by this subsection, the Mississippi Supreme Court shall provide an authoritative construction of the objectionable statutory provisions that avoids the constitutional problems while enforcing the statute's restrictions to the maximum possible extent, and shall agree to answer any question certified from a federal appellate court regarding the statute.
  • (3) State executive or administrative officials may not decline to enforce Sections 41-41-131 through 41-41-145, or adopt a construction of Sections 41-41-131 through 41-41-145 in a way that narrows their applicability, based on the official's own beliefs about what the state or federal constitution requires, unless the official is enjoined by a state or federal court from enforcing Sections 41-41-131 through 41-41-145.
  • (4) Sections 41-41-131 through 41-41-145 may not be construed to authorize the prosecution of or a cause of action to be brought against a woman on whom an abortion is performed or induced or attempted to be performed or induced in violation of Sections 41-41-131 through 41-41-145.
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