Mississippi Becomes Bolder with Anti-Abortion Legislative Push

March 3, 2012
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Posted in Politics & The Law

Posted in Politics & The Law

From one extreme to the other. Just as Washington state will become the first in the nation to guarantee insurance coverage of elective abortion within the insurance marketplace under pending nationwide health reform, Mississippi is looking at legislation to severly restrict (or possibly ban outright) such services.

Bills have been introduced that would require doctors to do ultrasounds or look for a fetal heart beat before an abortion and offer the woman a chance to see the results. Neither is currently required under Mississippi law. Senator Chris McDaniel, R-Laurel, authored the heartbeat legislation and says women would have to sign a waiver before the abortion can be performed.“Because science has demonstrated to us that once a discernible heartbeat is heard that the chances of that child growing to term are outstanding,” McDaniel said.

Mississippi’s recent defeat of the proposed so-called personhood statute — language protecting initial conceptus — is only emboldening this try at legislation which also seeks to prohibit out-of-state OB/GYNs from performing procedures in Miss., to require the use of ultrasound technology to document fetal heart tones before a procedure, and to require notarization of the current parental notification requirement, among other provisions.