Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant moved one step closer to his goal to end abortion in the Magnolia State when he signed the nation’s most restrictive anti-choice bill on Monday, which outlaws the procedure after 15 weeks of gestation.
“I was proud to sign House Bill 1510 this afternoon,” Bryant said on Twitter. “I am committed to making Mississippi the safest place in America for an unborn child, and this bill will help us achieve that goal.”
House Bill 1510 passed the Mississippi legislature in early March, and Bryant recently said the “15-week ban will be the most protective language for the unborn.”
While many anti-abortion bills make exceptions for rape and incest victims, Mississippi’s new law does not allow abuse victims to terminate their pregnancy beyond the 15-week mark. In fact, the only exceptions to law are if the fetus has an issue that is “incompatible with life” or if the mother’s life or “major bodily function” would be threatened by carrying the pregnancy to full term.
Mississippi only has one medical facility that performs abortions in the state, Jackson Women’s Health, and the clinic has vowed to fight the new law.
“The state of Mississippi (the poorest state in the nation) will spend a fortune of its taxpayer’s dollars on this legal battle,” the group wrote on Facebook. “The law will eventually be rendered unconstitutional. In the meantime, health care, infrastructure, education,…remain unfunded.”
Currently, Mississippi ranks either last or close to the last in the nation when it comes to access healthcare, infant mortality, and education.
Pro-choice groups have condemned Mississippi’s new law and have promised to challenge it in court.
“There is no doubt that this unconstitutional abortion ban will harm Mississippi women and families. The ban is clearly an attempt to effectively bring the state one step closer to outlawing abortion entirely,” NARAL Pro-Choice America National Communications Director Kaylie Hanson Long said in a statement.
“We know that when abortion access is restricted so severely, the number of abortions does not go down—the number of deaths and injuries to women goes up. Governor Bryant should be ashamed of himself.”