Mississippi Enacts US' Most Restrictive Abortion Law

Doris Richards
March 20, 2018

The state of MS just enacted the country's most stringent anti-abortion law, reports CNN. His state, effective immediately, now holds the distinction of having the earliest abortion ban in the nation.

Republican Gov. Phil Bryant said he wants his state to be the "safest place in America for an unborn child". Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves echoed that sentiment Monday, tweeting "It's a great day in Mississippi" along with a picture of the signing.

Opponents of a new MS law banning most abortions after 15 weeks of gestation have filed a lawsuit.

The law also puts physicians on notice.

Lawmakers also write that "The majority of abortion procedures performed after fifteen (15) 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".

Dr. Sacheen Carr-Ellis, in a sworn statement, said she'll have to stop providing abortions to women past the 15 week ban, or else lose her MS medical license, as House Bill 1510 requires. If they falsify records, they will face civil penalties or be forced to pay fines of up to $500.

Parker says that although Mississippi's disadvantages are striking and important to note, the legislative struggle over abortion access reflects the state of the nation. In 2012, that same clinic, The Jackson Women's Health Organization, filed a lawsuit challenging a different bill Bryant signed into law. There it could be blocked temporarily as the groups and the state litigate its constitutionality.

A pro-life protester stands outside the Jackson Women's Health Organization clinic in Jackson earlier this month. No one has legally challenged the 20-week ban in MS because the state's only abortion clinic performs procedures up to 16.5 weeks.


MS has always been the site of some of the fiercest abortion wars in the country, and it's taken a toll-the state went down to one abortion clinic in 2006.

Senior vice president of the Center for Reproductive Rights Lourdes Rivera called the bill "dangerous and unconstitutional" and said that her organization "is prepared to answer any attempt to undermine 40 years of Supreme Court precedent with the full force of the law". Parker, an OB/GYN, explained that he could be trained in a plastic surgical procedure and be free to perform that procedure in MS, even though he's not a board-certified plastic surgeon. This provision is extremely misleading, and shames people looking to have an abortion.

The law bans abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, even in cases of incest or rape.

About 2,000 women a year in MS receive abortions, Parker said. So by 15 weeks, he estimates, 200 women in MS who should have access to an abortion no longer will.

Dr. Sacheen Carr-Ellis, in a sworn statement, said she'll have to stop providing abortions to women past the 15 week ban, or else lose her MS medical license, as House Bill 1510 requires. Current federal law blocks such restrictions by states. "Those who have suffered at the hands of abusers may actually need additional grace", Williams said.

The new MS law is expected to be challenged in court.

Obviously, this is a huge setback for reproductive rights in America.

The U.S. Senate failed to pass a 20-week abortion ban bill in January. Whatever challenges we have to take on to do that, is something we're willing to do'. "This bill is unsafe and unconstitutional. They hope by the time they get to the Supreme Court they will have changed the Supreme Court".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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