Mississippi bans abortions after 15 weeks, no exception for rape or incest

Mississippi bans abortions after 15 weeks, no exception for rape or incest
UPI

March 8 (UPI) — Mississippi lawmakers passed the nation’s most restrictive abortion law this week, banning the medical procedure after the 15th week of pregnancy.

The bill, which passed 35-14, adds an exception only of medical emergency or severe fetal abnormality, but not for rape or incest.

Physicians who perform abortions after 15 weeks could be subject to having their medical license revoked and a $500 fine.

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant signaled he intends to sign the bill into law.

“As I have repeatedly said, I want Mississippi to be the safest place in America for an unborn child,” Bryant said on Twitter. “House Bill 1510 will help us achieve that goal.”

The bill’s language says the United States is “one of only seven nations in the world that permits non-therapeutic or elective abortion on demand after the 20th week of gestation.”

“The majority of abortion procedures performed after fifteen 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,” the bill states. “The Legislature finds that the intentional commitment of such acts for non-therapeutic or elective reasons is a barbaric practice, dangerous for the maternal patient, and demeaning to the medical profession.”

State Sen. Deborah Dawkins, a Democrat, said the bill harms women.

“This change to the law has twin purposes: to force women to have babies they don’t want, and then to stigmatize and undermine the resulting single mothers,” she said, according to Mississippi Edition.

Diane Derziz, the owner of Mississippi’s only abortion clinic, the Jackson Women’s Health Organization, told the Clarion Ledger that she plans to file a lawsuit against the state because she will be forced to refer women in need of an abortion out of state.

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