Mississippi now has the most stringent restrictions on abortion in the United States after Gov. Phil Bryant signed a 15-week abortion ban into law on Monday. As Faithwire previously reported, House Bill 1510 had already made its way through the state Senate at the beginning of March. The bill then progressed to the House for approval, and finally headed to Bryant’s desk.
“I have repeatedly said, I want Mississippi to be the safest place in America for an unborn child,” Gov. Bryant said at the time. “House Bill 1510 will help us achieve that goal, and I encourage the House to pass it and look forward to signing it.” Prior to the Bill being signed, Mississippi banned abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. House Bill 1510 has lowered this threshold, while still allowing for abortion past the 15-week mark in the case of “a medical emergency or … a severe fetal abnormality.”
In a bid to raise awareness of the brutality involved in an abortion procedure, text of House Bill 1510 does not mince words:
“The majority of abortion procedures performed after fifteen (15) weeks gestation are dilation and 45 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 text reads. “The Legislature finds that the intentional commitment of such acts for nontherapeutic or elective reasons is a barbaric practice, dangerous for the maternal patient, and demeaning to the medical profession.”
According to CNN:
“The law also requires doctors who perform abortions after 15 weeks to submit reports detailing the circumstances of each case. If they knowingly violate the law, their medical licenses will be suspended or revoked in Mississippi. If they falsify records, they will face civil penalties or be forced to pay fines of up to $500.”
Since the signing, however, some legal obstacles have been thrown in the way of the new law. District Judge Carlton Reeves has delayed the bill from taking effect for another 10 days, stating that it poses “immediate, irreparable harm to Mississippians’ abilities to control their ‘destiny and … body,'” according to the BBC.
“A brief delay in enforcing a law of dubious constitutionality does not outweigh that harm, and in fact serves the public’s interest in preserving the freedom guaranteed by the United States Constitution,” Judge Reeves wrote in his ruling.
Gov. Bryant has said that he is disappointed with the ruling.
“We are confident in its constitutionality and look forward to vigorously defending it,” he said. “House Bill 1510 protects maternal health and will further our efforts to make Mississippi the safest place in America for an unborn child.”
I pray today we have saved the first life of an unborn child in Mississippi. https://t.co/G7YNINWGIL
— Phil Bryant (@PhilBryantMS) March 20, 2018