by Steven Ertelt
March 28, 2008
Jackson, MS (LifeNews.com) — The Mississippi House approved a bill on Thursday that would provide protection for teenagers who are victims of sexual abuse. The goal is to ensure that criminals do not use abortions to try to cover up their actions from authorities, as has been done in other states across the nation.
However, the measure, passed after a controversial debate, may end up dying for the session.
Some parts of the bill were introduced at the last minute, according to media reports, and some legislators were upset and wanted more time to vote.
A procedural move to send the bill to a conference committee for negotiations failed on a 52-68 vote and the measure ultimately passed 79-41.
But the Hattiesburg Republican indicates Judiciary B Committee Chairman Willie Bailey, who wanted the negotiations, has the power to bring up the bill for more debate or let it die when the House ends its session on April 19.
The pro-life portions of the bill, which concerns child abuse, would allow parents to file a lawsuit when someone takes a teen for a secret abortion without their knowledge or consent.
The bill also requires abortion practitioners to preserve fetal tissue from the baby on any abortion done on a girl 14 years of age or younger to determine paternity and help officials prosecute statutory rape.
According to the paper, Republican Rep. Philip Gunn of Clinton urged legislators to adopt the pro-life additions the Senate put in the bill even though it hadn’t gone through a House committee.