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New bill in Mississippi Bans Abortions past 15 weeks, the Lowest Maximum in the Nation

Kimberly Schulte, News Editor

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Social media has been buzzing with both rage and support recently regarding a new abortion bill in Mississippi that was signed on Monday, March 19th.

While the topic of abortion has always been controversial amongst politicians and citizens alike, the southern state took matters into its own hands this week and imposed a bill that bans most abortions after 15 weeks into the pregnancy. House Bill 1510 does not exempt pregnancies that are a result of rape or incest.

The only exceptions are if the fetus itself has health problems that impair the unborn child’s ability to function outside of the womb at full term, or if the pregnant woman’s life is threatened by the pregnancy. 

Gov. Phil Bryant outlines his legislative priorities during the State of the State address, Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018.

Republicans passed House Bill 1510 overwhelmingly in early March by 35-14 votes in the Senate and 76-34 in the House. Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant has openly voiced his stance on abortion, often saying that he wants his state to be the “safest place in America for an unborn child”. He supported this opinion furthermore on Monday when signing the bill into law, which received mixed reactions overall.

No court has ever upheld any legislation under the 20 week period for abortions.

Pro-choice activists argue that the newly signed law is unconstitutional. As of currently, the law is being challenged by the only abortion clinic in the state. An hour after Gov. Bryant signed the bill, a lawsuit was filed by the Center for Reproductive Rights.

Mississippi state director for Planned Parenthood Southeast Advocates Felica Brown-Williams stated the following:

“This ban is not only unconstitutional; it endangers women’s health care across our state. If legislators truly cared about women’s health, they would be focused on ways to improve access to health care for women, not restrict it.”

The argument is that the bill goes against former federal court rulings that women have a right to an abortion before a fetus can live outside of a womb on its own and “has no bearing in science”.

You can read the official document here.

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New bill in Mississippi Bans Abortions past 15 weeks, the Lowest Maximum in the Nation