Mississippi is poised to potentially become the U.S. state with the most restrictive abortion laws after the state Senate passed a bill that would ban abortions after the 15-week mark.
If the bill becomes law, Mississippi would have the toughest abortion limits in the country, The bill, which passed 35-14, is currently set to be sent back to the House to be considered for another vote. If it passes the legislature, it will then land on Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant’s desk, The Hill reported.
Bryant has expressed his support for House Bill 1510, releasing a statement noting that he plans to sign it.
“I have repeatedly said, I want Mississippi to be the safest place in America for an unborn child,” Bryant said, according to the Clarion Ledger. “House Bill 1510 will help us achieve that goal, and I encourage the House to pass it and look forward to signing it.”
Mississippi currently bans abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. House Bill 1510 would lower this threshold, while still allowing for abortion past the 15-week mark in the case of “a medical emergency or … a severe fetal abnormality.”
With all this in mind, text of House Bill 1510 doesn’t mince words on the abortion front, explaining, in detail, how these procedures are carried out.
“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.”
Diane Derzis, the sole owner of the Jackson Women’s Health Organization, said that she believes the bill is unconstitutional and that she plans to sue if it is enacted into law.
“These groups are tossing anything and everything out there, anything that could start winding its way through the legal system because we’re in a very fragile place right now,” she told the Clarion Ledger. “Roe is clearly in danger and that’s what they’re preparing for … They hope by the time they get to the Supreme Court they will have changed the Supreme Court.”
It will be interesting to see what happens next. If, indeed, the law passes, it’s clear that the next legal battle will surely be over its constitutionality and whether it is legally permissible to cap abortion below the 20-week mark.