Mississippi Lawmakers Fail to Agree on Abortion Ban Compromise, Bill Dead

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 28, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Mississippi Lawmakers Fail to Agree on Abortion Ban Compromise, Bill Dead

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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
March 28, 2006

Jackson, MS (LifeNews.com) — Normally a bill that receives approval from both legislative chambers is a sure bet to head to the governor. However, Mississippi lawmakers failed to reach a compromise on the final draft of legislation to ban most all abortions there after both chambers approved differently-worded bills.

Legislators had an 8 p.m. deadline Monday night to finalize the language of the bill but they spent most of the time arguing with each other.

Members of the House wanted the Senate to agree to an abortion ban it passed that included exceptions for the life of the mother, rape and incest. Senators wanted to make changes to ensure that existing pro-life laws were not repealed by the ban is tied up in courts.

House Public Health Committee Chairman Steve Holland presented a final plan about 10 minutes before the deadline saying that it would ban abortions in the state once Roe v. Wade is overturned.

"This is a pure ban on abortion. You shouldn’t have any questions about it," Holland said, according to an AP report.

But Senate Public Health Committee Chairman Alan Nunnelee wouldn’t agree to the language and neither side would accept the other sides proposal for a final draft.

Sandy Ellard Middleton a longtime pro-life activists in the state said her group, an affiliate of National Right to Life, backed the last-minute House compromise.

"All of this debate was so full of emotions, politics and theatrics. This was good commonsense legislation. It would have put this issue to rest in Mississippi until Roe is overturned," Middleton said.

Governor Haley Barbour, a Republican, had said he would sign the abortion ban if it reached his desk.

Related web sites:
Pro-Life Mississippi – https://www.prolifemississippi.org