On March 6th, 2018 the Mississippi Senate passed a version of the Mississippi House Bill 1510, a law that would make it ILLEGAL for women to seek abortion care AFTER 15 weeks of pregnancy.
The states’s Republican Governor Phil Bryant’s desk, signed it on April 9th. In response to a suit from the Center for Reproductive Rights, a judge quickly moved to temporarily block the 15-week abortion ban in the state.
Currently, Mississippi prohibits abortion past 20 weeks. If this bill passes, Mississippi will become the nation’s strictest abortion law. The law, termed the Gestational Age Act, does not provide exceptions for rape or incest.
Jackson Women’s Health is Mississippi’s last standing abortion clinic. From local newspaper The Clarion Ledger, Clinic owner Diane Derzis stated they would be planning to take the state to court. “I’m not surprised,” Derzis said after the Senate vote. “We will be planning to sue.”
Laws of this nature, besides being unconstitutional and wasteful of tax payer’s money, will always most affect poor women who do not have the money to travel out of state for the abortion care she might need. Basically, the laws are unconstitutional barriers to Mississippi women seeking abortions.
In 2017, Mississippi reported an infant mortality rate of 8.6 infant deaths per 1,000 live births. This is the highest in the country. However, after the vote on Tuesday, Gov. Bryant tweeted out “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, and I encourage the House to pass it and look forward to signing it.”
“These laws are designed for one purpose only, and that’s to put us out of business as well as removing a woman’s right to decide her future,” Derzis said.