Mississippi Governor Signs Nation's Toughest Abortion Ban Into Law

Mississippi bans abortions at 15 weeks, earliest in the nation

Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant is expected to sign into law on Monday a bill that bars abortions after 15 weeks, which would make his state the strictest in the nation on terminating pregnancies.

Republican Governor Phil Bryant, who has repeatedly declared his vision to make MS the "safest place in America for an unborn child", is expected to sign into law a bill that bans abortions after 15 weeks of gestation. While the Supreme Court ruled that banning abortion is illegal in its landmark decision, Roe v. Wade, Hood told Cincinnati.com that the bill could prompt the court to reconsider that decision.

'We are saving more of the unborn than any state in America, and what better thing can we do?' Bryant said in a video his office posted on social media. The clinic does not perform abortions past 16 weeks, he added. Pregnancies resulting from rape and incest aren't exempted. And the advocacy group expects that this bill to ban "pre-viability abortion" will similarly be stopped.

Abortion rights advocates are calling the law unconstitutional because it limits abortion before fetuses can live outside the womb. "With Pope St. John Paul II, we recognize abortion as 'a most serious wound inflicted on society and its culture by the very people who ought to be society's promoters and defenders'". In fact, the report showed that restrictions on abortion access can cause harm in delaying women proper health care.

The judge said a stay was justified because the MS law's proposed 15-week limit is outside of the medical consensus about when fetus becomes vital, raising questions about whether it violates the U.S. Constitution.

Lawyer Rob McDuff says the clinic wants a federal judge to impose a temporary restraining order by Tuesday.

The only exceptions to the measure are if a fetus or the mother has health problems and their lives are threatened. Many Black women in MS don't have access to private health insurance that covers comprehensive reproductive health care and the state does not provide Medicaid funding for abortions.

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In his state of the state address in 2014, Bryant said, "On this unfortunate anniversary of Roe v. Wade, my goal is to end abortion in MS".

Lawmakers also write that "The majority of abortion procedures performed after fifteen (15) weeks' gestation are dilation and evacuation procedures which involve the use of surgical instruments to crush and tear the unborn child apart before removing the pieces of the dead child from the womb".

MS previously tied with North Carolina for the nation's strictest abortion limits at 20 weeks.

The law bans abortion earlier than any other law now in effect, a fact Bryant, a Republican, proudly touted on social media. "It is one of 20 states that have passed popular, compassionate legislation to stop cruel late-term abortions after five months". Whatever challenges we have to take on to do that, is something we're willing to do'.

When asked if the state is prepared to bear the cost of a lawsuit, Gunn said, 'Absolutely'.

The afternoon the bill was signed, a member of the 40 Days for Life prayer team stood at the entrance to Jackson Women's Health Organization.

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