Mississippi House OKs Pro-Life Bills: Ban, Limit Abortions

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 15, 2012   |   7:25PM   |   Washington, DC

The Mississippi state House has approved different pro-life pieces of legislation including a measure that would prohibit webcam abortions that are dangerous for women and require admitting privileges for abortion practitioners.

The measures to ban and limit abortions include a bill that would require abortion practitioners to have admitting privileges at a local hospital
and to be certified in obstetrics and gynecology.

Rep. Adrienne Wooten, a Democrat from Jackson, told the House it should not “step into the confines of my home and tell me what to do with my body” while pro-life lawmakers said the law makes sense because women who suffer from botched abortions need to be admitted to the hospital for urgent medical care and treatment.

Meanwhile, Mississippi women would be provided greater safety under a measure passed today at the State Capitol. House Bill 790, the bill to ban “webcam abortions” and collect data on the use of chemical abortions in Mississippi, has the strong support of Mississippi Right to Life and National Right to Life.  The measure was sponsored by Rep. Alex Monsour and passed by the House of Representatives on a vote of 78-35.

Webcam abortions involve the RU 486 abortion drug, administered via video conference with an abortion provider in another location.  The doctor talks with the woman, then presses a button which opens a drawer to remotely dispense the drug.  The doctor is never physically present to examine the woman for any problems such as a life-threatening ectopic pregnancy as suggested by the FDA.

With the drug having killed dozens of women worldwide and injured more than 2,200 alone in the United States, according to April 2011 FDA figures, pro-life groups have been concerned about Planned Parenthood putting women’s health at risk.

RU 486  and its companion drug are administered between the fifth and ninth weeks of pregnancy, after pregnancy has been confirmed and the process typically involves three trips to a doctor. About half of the women abort while at the doctor’s office, with another 26 percent having an abortion within the next 20 hours at any location at home or in public. The remainder either have an abortion in the coming weeks or none at all of the drug fails to work — making it so a surgical abortion is required.

Through April, the FDA reports 2,207 adverse events related to the use of RU 486, including 14 deaths, 612 hospitalizations, 58 ectopic pregnancies, 339 blood transfusions, and 256 cases of infections in the United States alone. A European drug manufacturer has publicly stated that 28 women have died worldwide after using RU 486/mifepristone.

“Webcam abortions are big money-makers for abortion providers, but far too risky for women,” said MSRTL President Barbara Whitehead.  “As with any medical procedure, the safety of the patient must be the primary concern, not profit.”

Meanwhile, the Mississippi House of Representatives worked late last night and after contentious debate overwhelmingly passed HB 1196 the so-called “Heartbeat bill” which would require abortionists to check for a fetal heartbeat, inform the mother that there was a fetal heartbeat, and – if the Senate passes the current version – prohibit the killing of the child after its heartbeat can be detected.