Mississippi Bill Would Allow Women to See An Ultrasound Before Abortion

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 21, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Mississippi Bill Would Allow Women to See An Ultrasound Before Abortion

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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
January 21
, 2007

Jackson, MS (LifeNews.com) — A new bill filed in the Mississippi state legislature would allow women considering an abortion the chance to see an ultrasound beforehand. When women see an ultrasound of their unborn child at a pregnancy center, a large percentage decide not to have an abortion.

Senate Public Health Committee Chairman Alan Nunnelee, a Republican from Tupelo who sponsored the same bill last year, is behind this year’s version.

"Abortionists make a lot of money and they want to convey the idea that this procedure involves a mass of tissue when in reality it involves a child," he told the Hattiesburg American newspaper.

But Ann Rose, the vice president of the National Women’s Health Organization, which operates the only abortion business in Mississippi, says it already shows women an ultrasound picture if they want it.
"This bill is just another one of their litany of issues trying to harass clinics and women trying to get abortions," Rose said. "It don’t think it will see the light of day."

Last year, the state Senate approved Nunnelee’s proposal but the bill eventually died as the state House turned it into a ban on virtually all abortions in the state.

Camilla Lewis of Pro-Life Mississippi said it supports the bill.

"If a woman sees and hears movement, those things are going to appeal to her senses and maternal nature," Lewis told the Hattiesburg newspaper. "No telling how many abortions that could avert."

Rep. Deryk Parker, a Democrat, and Rep. Mike Lott, a Republican, has introduced a measure to prohibit abortions in Mississippi. It would ban all abortions except those to save the life of the mother and would sentence anyone doing an abortion to one year in prison and a $5,000 fine.

Nunnelee said he would support a ban on abortions but said the legislature should adopt his proposal until it approves an outright ban.

"I would love for Mississippi to become the first state in the nation to completely ban them," Nunnelee said. "There’s significant risks to abortion. If we take up an outright ban, it will be for the purpose of protecting the health of these young women."

Meanwhile, the newspaper reported that Sen. Joey Fillingane has put forward a measure that would put a constitutional amendment on the state ballot asking residents if they want to ban abortions. It would prohibit abortions in case the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.

According to figures from the state health department, there were 3,041 abortions in Mississippi in 2005. That down from a 10-year high of 4,325 in 1997 thanks to several pro-life laws the state legislature has approved.