Jackson, Mississippi, March 20, 2018
Pro-lifers are celebrating a new victory in Mississippi today after Governor Phil Bryant signed the nation’s most restrictive abortion ban into law yesterday. Now the murder of infants in the womb is banned after 15 weeks of pregnancy with no exemptions for rape or incest, reports WND.
The new measure does provide exemptions if the woman’s life or “major bodily function” is threatened, or if the unborn child would not survive outside the womb.
Gov. Bryant has said that he wants his state to be the “safest place in America for an unborn child.” As expected, the state’s sole abortion clinic filed a lawsuit within an hour of the bill being signed.
“We'll probably be sued in about half an hour,” Bryant said as he signed the bill. “That'll be fine with me. It’ll be worth fighting over,” the Chicago Tribune reports.
Before Monday, Mississippi was one of 17 states in America that banned abortion after 20 weeks. The Mississippi House of Representatives passed the bill 75-34 on March 8, and the Senate passed it 35-14 on March 13. The governor stated that day that he would sign the bill.
“We are protecting more women, we are protecting more children,” said House Judiciary B Committee Chairman Andy Gipson. “By 15 weeks, you have a child in the womb who has a heartbeat, who for all practical purposes has taken on the form of a person.”
The Jackson Women’s Health Organizations’ lawsuit contends that the law is unconstitutional, violating other federal court rulings.
“Under decades of United States Supreme Court precedent, the state of Mississippi cannot ban abortion prior to viability, regardless of what exceptions are provided to the ban,” the complaint states. It also states that 78 abortions were performed after 15 weeks last year.
“The 15-week marker has no bearing in science. It’s just completely unfounded and a court has never upheld anything under the 20-week viability marker,” Katherine Klein, equality advocacy coordinator for the American Civil Liberties Union of Mississippi said.
However, House Speaker Philip Gunn is proud of his rule in protecting vulnerable human life: “The winners (today) are those babies that are in the womb, first and foremost. Those are the ones we’re trying to protect.”