Mississippi Senate Passes Anti-Abortion Bills

The Mississippi State Senate passed an abortion ban on Wednesday by a vote of 35-4. The ban, which includes exceptions for cases of sexual assault, incest, or when a woman’s life is in danger, will now move to the Mississippi House for consideration. A similar bill in Mississippi died last year when the two chambers could not reach a compromise on the bill’s language.

Reproductive health advocates are raising concerns about the serious impact this bill would have on women’s health. Shannon Reaze, president of the local National Organization for Women chapter, said, “Legislation like this really puts women in jeopardy and it promotes unsafe and illegal abortion’ We don’t want to do that. We want women to have access to medically safe abortions.”

Senate Public Health Committee Chair Alan Nunnelee (R) tried to tell senators that the bill “in no way regulates young women. It regulates the folks making money off young women. They would be criminals, put in jail,” the Clarion-Ledger reports. When asked by Democratic Senator David Jordan, “What about the wishes of the lady?” Nunnelee just replied, “I don’t know how to make it any more clear.”

The Mississippi Senate also passed two additional bills that would make it more difficult for women to obtain an abortion. The first, SB 2801, would require a physician to offer a woman the opportunity to view a sonogram and hear the heartbeat of the fetus before obtaining an abortion. The second, SB 2391, would require all minors to obtain either parental consent or the court’s permission before an abortion.
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Clarion Ledger 2/8/07; Chicago Tribune 2/8/07; WLBT 2/7/07; Feminist Daily News Wire 2/2/07

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