Mississippi Governor Signs Bill Banning Abortions Based on Sex, Race, or Disability

Down syndrome baby
KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images

Gov. Tate Reeves (R) of Mississippi signed a bill into law Wednesday that bans abortions based on sex, race, or disability.

The Life Equality Act (House Bill 1295) will “prohibit abortions being performed because of race, sex or genetic abnormality except in a medical emergency,” the law states.

In addition, the legislation requires abortionists to “notate in a report that the abortion is not sought” for those reasons.

Violations to the law are punishable by up to ten years in jail and a suspension of a license to practice in the state.

“Unborn human beings are often discriminated against and deprived of life,” the law asserts and adds, “The State of Mississippi maintains a “compelling interest in preventing abortion from becoming a tool of modern-day eugenics.”

The law also provides that “nothing in the act creates or recognizes a right to an abortion.”

The new law is enacted as pro-life activists have denounced the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in June Medical Services v. Russo, in which Chief Justice John Roberts broke a tie vote that struck down a Louisiana health and safety law requiring abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.

Catherine Glenn Foster, president of Americans United for Life, commented on the Court’s 5-4 ruling in that case that pro-life Americans should look to the fact that, across the United States, “life-affirming protections are being signed into law at a rate unseen in a generation, and Americans are turning away from abortion in principle and in practice in the greatest numbers seen since before Roe.”

“Passion and truth are on the side of life,” Foster added. “Just like our fight for civil rights for all Americans, the road may be long, but our cause is right. Justice will be had in our time.”

While Planned Parenthood touted this week that, Alexis McGill Johnson, its permanently-installed CEO, is a “social and racial justice” activist, the group’s southeast affiliate that covers Mississippi condemned the Life Equality Act as “racist and discriminatory.”

The Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List) celebrated the new Mississippi law and the fact that it “passed by overwhelming margins in the state legislature.”

Said SBA List State Policy Director Sue Liebel:

The enactment of the Life Equality Act is an historic victory for the pro-life citizens of Mississippi, for the voiceless victims of discrimination and all who advocate for them. Starting now, unborn babies in Mississippi cannot be targeted for abortion based on their sex, race, or potential disability, such as Down syndrome. Such lethal discrimination, whether inside or outside the womb, should be unacceptable anywhere in our society.”

A Marist poll sponsored by the Knights of Columbus and conducted in January found that 65% of Americans, including 50% of those who identify as “pro-choice,” oppose aborting a baby because it carries a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome.

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