Mississippi Legislature Passes Heartbeat Bills, Governor Will Sign

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On Wednesday, February 13, both the House (HB 732) and Senate (SB 2116) of Mississippi passed identical “Heartbeat Bills” that could ban abortions after the fetus’ heartbeat was detected.

Governor Phil Bryant took to social media not long after both bills were passed saying that he wants, “Mississippi to be the safest place for an unborn child in America,” he went on to say, “I look forward to signing this act upon final passage.”
In agreement with Bryant, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves said these bills will “stop the barbaric practice of ending life in the womb even though a heartbeat is plainly detected.”

A fetus’ heartbeat can be detected as early as 6 weeks. According to the CDC, approximately 65.8% of abortions occur after 6 weeks. This would prevent the deaths of over half of babies facing abortion in the state.

However, the bills do allow for exceptions in the rare cases where a woman’s life is at risk or is in danger of serious harm.

“A person is not in violation...of that person performs a medical procedure designed to or intended, in that person's reasonable medical judgment, to prevent the death of a pregnant woman or to prevent a serious risk of the substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function of the pregnant woman.”

Growing up in Mississippi, I am well aware of my state’s violent and discriminatory past in regards to human rights issues. In the past, people were deemed “unequal,” sub-human,” or even “non-human property” because of how they looked. Thank God we now have laws which fixed that. But the fight for equality under the law and basic human rights is not over.

As Dr. Alveda King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., once told me, “the pro-life fight is just a continuation of what my uncle marched for.”

She is correct. The preborn are just as much human as you and I are, and they deserve equality under the law and basic human rights. Where my state has failed to stand firm for human rights in the past, they are now making great strides.

Last year, a 15-week abortion ban was passed in Mississippi, and was deemed “unconstitutional”. The state is still appealing that decision to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Mississippi Legislature Passes Heartbeat Bills, Governor Will Sign
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