A new Mississippi bill would completely ban killing unborn babies in abortions in the state and charge anyone who does an abortion with murder.
WLBT News reports state Rep. Dan Eubanks, R-DeSoto, introduced the legislation this week in the state House.
State House Bill 338 would make it illegal for anyone to willfully cause an abortion; a person who performs an abortion could be convicted of murder. It also would increase penalties against anyone who advertises medicine or tools that can be used in an illegal abortion and would ban taxpayer funding to any facility that does abortions.
It also would create felony penalties for people who “knowingly give, sell, dispense, administer or otherwise provide or prescribe” abortion-inducing drugs, according to Newsweek.
The abortion advocacy group Planned Parenthood Southeast Advocates quickly slammed the bill as an “attack on abortion.” But the legislation may not receive strong support from some pro-lifers either.
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Strategically, there are concerns that the legislation would be struck down in court. While there is more hope that the new conservative-majority U.S. Supreme Court may consider an abortion ban, it is difficult to say if it would for certain. Some legal scholars have speculated that the conservative court would be more likely to consider cases that gradually chip away at Roe v. Wade rather than reverse it completely.
When courts rule against such laws, state taxpayers often are forced to reimburse pro-abortion groups for their legal fees. Two other Mississippi laws that prohibit abortions after an unborn baby’s heartbeat is detectable and ban abortions after 15 weeks both have been blocked in court.
Another issue with Eubanks’ legislation, it is not clear if the mother could be charged for aborting her unborn baby. While pro-life advocates yearn for the day when unborn children are protected under law and abortions are banned, the pro-life movement long has opposed punishing mothers who have abortions — instead focusing on holding abortion practitioners criminally accountable for the unborn children who they kill in abortions.
North Dakota lawmakers are considering a similar bill this winter.