Displaying 30+ Stories
Associated Press

Mississippi Passes New 15-Week Abortion Restriction, Challenging Supreme Court Precedent

Abortion Laws, Fetus, Baby, Pregnant Woman

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Mississippi lawmakers on Thursday passed what is likely to be the nation's most restrictive abortion law.

The House voted 75-34 in favor of the measure, which would make most abortions illegal after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Republican Gov. Phil Bryant has said he'll sign the bill. The Mississippi Senate passed the measure on Tuesday.

The bill could spark a court challenge focusing on whether states can ban abortions before fetuses can survive outside the womb. The owner of Mississippi's only abortion clinic, Jackson Women's Health Organization, has pledged to sue.

There are two exceptions to House Bill 1510: if the fetus has a health problem that would prevent it from surviving outside the womb at full term, or if the pregnant woman's life or a "major bodily function" is threatened by the pregnancy. Pregnancies as a result of rape and incest would not be exempt.

The bill "would violate four decades of unwavering Supreme Court precedent holding that a state may not ban abortion prior to viability," the Center for Reproductive Rights wrote in a letter asking legislative leaders to block it. The center, which supports legal abortion, calls Mississippi's move unconstitutional and "medically unsound."

Mississippi already had tied with North Carolina for the nation's shortest abortion term, limiting abortions to 20 weeks since a woman's last menstruation. That limit has not yet been challenged in the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals - possibly because the Mississippi clinic doesn't offer abortions after 20 weeks.

Clinic owner Diane Derzis has said that her clinic does perform abortions until about 18 weeks. She said she believes the state is trying to set up a test case that will go to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The U.S. Senate failed to pass a 20-week abortion ban bill in January. With 60 'yes' votes required to advance, the bill failed on a 51-46 vote.

(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Did you know?

God is everywhere—even in the news. That’s why we view every news story through the lens of faith. We are committed to delivering quality independent Christian journalism you can trust. But it takes a lot of hard work, time, and money to do what we do. Help us continue to be a voice for truth in the media by supporting CBN News for as little as $1.