by Steven Ertelt
March 8, 2007
Jackson, MS (LifeNews.com) — The Mississippi state legislature has given the final approval to a bill that would ban abortions in the state should Roe v. Wade be overturned. The measure is known as a trigger law that doesn’t challenge Roe directly but make abortion illegal if the high court reverses its landmark decision.
The state Senate approved the legislation today after the House gave its backing to it last month.
Under the bill, the only cases of abortion that would be allowed after Roe is when the abortion directly threatens the life of the mother and in cases of rape. The bill doesn’t have an incest exception but legislators said it would be covered under the definition of rape.
Anyone who would do an illegal abortion if the law goes into effect would be sentenced to as much as 10 years in prison.
Governor 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. There’s no word yet on whether he will sign the bill.
Another part of the bill would become law on July 1 and it requires abortion practitioners to allow women considering an abortion to view an ultrasound beforehand. Studies show that most women decide not to have an abortion after seeing the high-tech images of their unborn child.
A final section of the legislation tightens the requirements for when a teenager can have an abortion. The state already has a parental consent law that disallows teens having abortions unless their parents sign off on it and the new provisions would decrease the number of waivers granted.
No legislator stood up against the bill when the House debated it and it passed there on a 95-16 margin.
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.