by Steven Ertelt
February 7, 2007
Jackson, MS (LifeNews.com) — The Mississippi state Senate approved two abortion bills on Wednesday, including one allowing women to see an ultrasound beforehand and another relating to parental consent for minors to have an abortion.
Senate Public Health Committee Chairman Alan Nunnelee, a Republican from Tupelo, is the sponsor of the ultrasound bill. He said when women see an ultrasound of their unborn child at a pregnancy center, a large percentage decide not to have an abortion.
"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.
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."
The second measure requires minors who don’t have parental permission for an abortion to wait on having one until a court approves a waiver.
The two measures now head to the state House for its consideration and pro-abortion groups say they will fight them both.
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.
Planned Parenthood of Alabama issued a statement criticizing the Senate votes.
“We ask that legislators stop wasting time and taxpayer funds on criminalizing abortion," it said.
Camilla Lewis of Pro-Life Mississippi said it supports the ultrasound 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."
Meanwhile, Rep. Deryk Parker, a Democrat, and Rep. Mike Lott, a Republican, have 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.
According to figures from the state health department, there were 3,041 abortions in Mississippi in 2005. That’s down from a 10-year high of 4,325 in 1997 thanks to several pro-life laws the state legislature has approved.