Mississippi Heartbeat Bill Victory

Mar 21, 2019

Governor Phil Bryant signed a “heartbeat” abortion ban into law today at a ceremony at the Mississippi State Capitol, making this the largest state to ban abortion once a fetal heartbeat can be detected.

Senate Bill 2116 would outlaw abortion when a fetal heartbeat is detected, which comes about six weeks into pregnancy. The Mississippi bill says physicians who perform an abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected could face revocation of their medical license. The bill also says abortions could be allowed after a fetal heartbeat is found if a pregnancy endangers a woman’s life or one of her major bodily functions. The House and Senate both rejected efforts to allow exceptions for pregnancies caused by rape or incest.  

Gov. Bryant says he’s not worried about lawsuits. “We will all answer to the good Lord one day. I will say in this instance, ‘I fought for the lives of innocent babies, even under the threat of legal action. This is a human being. They have rights,” said Bryant.

Georgia and Tennessee are considering similar bills. Kentucky’s law was immediately challenged by the American Civil Liberties Union when Republican Gov. Matt Bevin signed it on March 14, and a federal judge has temporarily blocked it.

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