Mississippi legislature approves restrictive abortion bill

Mississippi legislature approves restrictive abortion bill

Lawmakers in Mississippi have passed a bill [text, PDF] banning abortion after 15 weeks of gestation.

The bill passed in the Senate 35-14 [roll call, PDF] after lawmakers removed provisions imposing criminal penalties on physicians. The House then approved the revised bill 75-34 [roll call, PDF].

Calculated from the first day of the woman’s last menstrual period, the only exceptions the bill offers are for medical emergencies and cases of severe fetal abnormality that would not allow for life outside the womb. There are no exceptions for cases of rape or incest.

Despite being under heated debate since its inception, the bill will become law once signed by Governor Phil Bryant [official website]. The governor has stated [Twitter website], “I want Mississippi to be the safest place in America for an unborn child, House Bill 1510 will help us achieve that goal.”

The U.S. Supreme Court has previously rejected [JURIST report] attempts by other states to limit the number of weeks in which a woman can receive an abortion. If passed, the bill will be the most restrictive limitation on abortion in the country.

Diane Derzis, who is the head of Jackson Women’s Health Organization [official website], the lone abortion clinic in the state, has vowed to sue if Governor Bryant signs the bill into law.