On March 8, the Mississippi House passed a bill to ban abortions after 15 weeks by a vote of 75 to 34. The bill, named HB 1510, does not give exceptions for cases of rape or incest, and Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryan announced on Twitter Thursday that he intends to sign the bill.
As I have repeatedly said, I want Mississippi to be the safest place in America for an unborn child. House Bill 1510 will help us achieve that goal. https://t.co/ffqRfhwx51— Phil Bryant (@PhilBryantMS) March 6, 2018
The only exceptions granted in HB 1510 include cases in which the woman's life may be in danger, her health may be severely affected, or if the fetus has a fatal abnormality.
Once this bill goes into effect, doctors who perform abortions past the 15-week mark will be subject to penalties such as losing their license and civil consequences.
Previously, the strictest abortion law in the United States was seen in North Carolina, where abortions are banned after 18 weeks after fertilization.
U.S. Supreme Court Case Roe v. Wade made abortion a woman’s right in 1973, as long as the abortion occurred before the baby would be able to survive outside of the womb, which is approximately 22 weeks after fertilization. Attempts by states to combat this with their own laws have proven futile, and the Supreme Court has refused to hear cases as such.
The Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Mississippi, Jennifer Riley Collins, said in a statement: "Mississippi already has some of the most restrictive abortion laws in the United States, including laws that impose a 24-hour waiting period and that compel doctors to make medically false statements about the risks of abortion. If HB 1510 becomes law, it will end up at the center of a legal battle, wasting tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars in legal fees."
She went on to add: "The real agenda from some state legislators is to ban abortion outright. Since they can’t, they are using this restrictive bill to put abortion out of reach.”
Both the owner of Mississippi’s only abortion clinic and the Center for Reproductive Rights plan to file a lawsuit against the state once HB 15010 becomes law.