Miss. House committee votes to ban most abortions
Via Sun Herald
JACKSON, Miss. – A Mississippi House committee voted Tuesday to ban most abortions in the state – an unexpected move that left abortion opponents grappling to stake out a position on a proposal that could prompt a lengthy court battle.
The only abortions allowed under the bill would be if the life of the pregnant woman were in danger. There would be no abortions allowed in cases of pregnancy caused by rape or incest.
It’s similar to a bill that South Dakota lawmakers passed last week.
House Public Health Chairman Steve Holland, D-Plantersville, persuaded his committee to put the abortion restrictions into a Senate bill that was originally written to require that sonograms be performed early in pregnancy so the woman could hear a fetal heartbeat.
Holland said he brought up the near ban on abortion because he’s tired of piecemeal attempts to add new restrictions year after year. He said he woke up about 3 a.m. Tuesday and decided to introduce his proposal, and he only told two House staff members about his plans before he made the move.
“I have a strong dilemma within myself on this,” Holland said. “I can only impregnate. I can’t get pregnant myself.”
Holland says he has voted for some abortion restrictions and against others in the past.
Mississippi already has some of the strictest abortion laws in the nation, requiring a 24-hour waiting period in all cases and parental consent before a minor can have a pregnancy terminated.
The state has only one operating abortion clinic, in Jackson.
Terri Herring, president of Pro-Life Mississippi, said the Senate’s sonogram proposal could have an immediate effect of persuading some women to avoid abortion. She said the new House proposal likely would prompt a court challenge if it were to become law.
“To have a law in the courts would, in effect, not make any substantive change in Mississippi’s abortion practices,” Herring said.
She also said: “Whether it’s South Dakota or Mississippi, our goals are the same. We want to end abortion in our lifetime, and we want to see Mississippi be the first state to end abortion.”
Susan Hill is president of the National Women’s Health Organization, which runs the only abortion clinic still operating in Mississippi. She said she wasn’t surprised by lawmakers’ move.
“What took them so long? I thought they’d be ahead of South Dakota,” Hill said.
It looks like a positive trend that may just sweep a large portion of the Nation. It is a direct legislative move, challenging the word of the Courts. It is the system of checks and balances at work, and hopefully it will become a leading trend to put this issue back in the hands of individual states where it belongs. These legislative moves are sure to be challenged by groups like NOW, and the ACLU, and could very possibly lead to the Supreme Court. They are a definite push to reevaluate Roe Vs. Wade, a decision many Americans see as a flawed ruling.
Posted by Jay on March 1, 2006 9:33 am
» Filed Under ACLU, Abortion, News
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