by Steven Ertelt
February 8, 2007
Jackson, MS (LifeNews.com) — The Mississippi state legislature is once again moving forward a bill that would ban virtually all abortions in the state. The last attempt got bogged down in a debate over what exceptions to add but this year’s ban easily cleared the state Senate.
The current ban, Senate Bill 2795, would allow abortions only in cases when the mother’s life is in danger and when the mother is a victim of a sexual assault such as a rape or incest.
"The people of Mississippi feel strongly about protecting life, and we want to reflect that in our laws," said Sen. Alan Nunnelee told WLBT.
Pro-life groups strongly supported the bill and Pro-Life Mississippi endorsed the bill in a statement to LifeNews.com.
"The senate has certainly expressed the will of the people by passing [the ban]," Tanya Britton, president of the group, told LifeNews.com. "Pro-life people … know that abortion of the most heinous social engineering tools concocted since World War II."
However, abortion advocates are opposed to the bill and said they would try to stop it in the state House, which approved it last time.
"Legislation like this really puts women in jeopardy and it promote unsafe and illegal abortion," said Shannan Reaze, president of the local chapter of the National Organization For Women. "We don’t want to do that. We want women to have access to medically safe abortions."
The bill is an abortion ban that would directly challenge the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that allowed abortion on demand. It is not a trigger that that other states are considering that would ban abortions once that decision is overturned.
"They haven’t looked at it in 30 years, and I’d love for them to have the opportunity to make Mississippi the first state in the nation that’s pro-life," Nunnelee told WLBT.
However, the measure may face problems in the House because House Public Health chairman Steve Holland said he doesn’t consider the bill a priority. He said the committee would debate and vote on the bill but he couldn’t promise that it would go to the Senate floor.