by Steven Ertelt
February 22, 2007
Jackson, MS (LifeNews.com) — A measure that would put an abortion ban in place should the Supreme Court overturn its Roe v. Wade decision allowing virtually unlimited abortion received the approval of the Mississippi state House. The state Senate has already approved a bill that would move ahead with a ban on most all abortions.
The House measure is known as a trigger law that puts a statue on the books that goes into effect when the Roe decision is reversed.
House Public Health Committee Chairman Steve Holland, a Democrat, told his colleagues that it has the backing of pro-life groups.
No legislator stood up against the bill and it passed in the House on a 95-16 margin.
The bill actually combines three pro-life measures into one, including the trigger law and other measures the state Senate approved such as a measure allowing women to see an ultrasound of their baby before an abortion. A third provision tightens the state’s current parental consent law so fewer judicial waivers are approved.
As a result of the modifications, the upper chamber will need to sign off on the changes the House made.
Republican Gov. Haley Barbour has said he favors more laws limiting abortions and previously promised to sign an abortion ban as long as it had rape and incest exceptions.
The trigger law would ban all abortions except those to save the life of the mother or in cases of rape — meaning it would prohibit 98 percent of all abortions in the state if Roe goes. Holland said legal counsel indicated the rape provision would allow abortions for women victimized by incest as well.
Should anyone do an abortion if the ban was in place, they would face up to 10 years in prison.
Mississippi has approved several pro-life laws over the years that have lowered the number of abortions from a high of 4,325 per year in 1997 to 3,041 in 2005. The state has just one abortion business, which is located in Jackson.