The Trump presidency and a majority Republican legislature as of the last year has brought with it some distasteful policy suggestions among some of the more fundamentalist conservative lawmakers, many of which have been met with outcry from the general public. Issues ranging anywhere from immigration, fiscal policy, or healthcare, have all taken centerstage, as some of the GOP-led initiatives have aimed to rollback the great deal of progress that was made over the previous eight years. However, at the same time that the federal government has pushed more right-wing bills into the Congress, some state and local level governments have taken a step further when possible.
In the latest initiative that has activists raising concerns can be seen in that of the bill passed by the Mississippi state Senate, prohibiting abortions from taking place after 15 weeks into a woman’s pregnancy. The issue of abortions, which has remained a hot topic for some time now between Democrats and Republicans, is one that was easily passed by the majority GOP dominated state legislature in Mississippi, allowing them to almost effortlessly pass the law without much competition. According to a report by the Clarion Ledger:
‘After a heated floor debate, the Senate on Tuesday passed a bill 35-14 to ban abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, bringing the state one step closer to enacting the most restrictive abortion ban in the country.
In a statement Gov. Phil Bryant reiterated his support for the measure. “I have repeatedly said, I want Mississippi to be the safest place in America for an unborn child. House Bill 1510 will help us achieve that goal, and I encourage the House to pass it and look forward to signing it.”‘
The initial bill was drafted and presented to lawmakers by Republican state Senator Joey Fillingane, who claimed that the sole intent for his legislation was to ensure the well-being of expectant mothers, despite backlash that the wording of the bill does little to inherently protect pregnant women. Rather, opponents of Fillingane’s proposal have questioned whether there was any thought put into the impact it would have on expectant mothers, considering that even rape or incest are not exceptions to the 15 week rule.
The Mississippi state Senate has passed a bill to ban abortions after just 15 weeks. If enacted, it would be the most restrictive abortion ban in the country. pic.twitter.com/SB6eJj3eoq
— AJ+ (@ajplus) March 6, 2018
Despite attempts by Democrats in the Mississippi state Senate to pushback on the restrictive legislation, their representation in the legislature rendered their advocacy effectively useless, considering the majority Republican-dominated chamber. Nevertheless, Democratic senators are continuing their efforts at dismantling the bill, citing previous Supreme Court cases that would otherwise deem the 15-week ban as being unconstitutional.
Mississippi just passed one of the earliest abortion bans in effect in the country. We will fight this unconstitutional ban and ensure that women can get the care they need. https://t.co/7StRI2R2yU pic.twitter.com/PlO7M8t4zg
— Center for Reproductive Rights (@ReproRights) March 6, 2018
The 15-week abortion ban that just advanced in Mississippi is part of a careful legal effort to undermine Roe: “Once we get these first-trimester limitations in place, we’re going to go for a complete ban on abortion except to save the life of the mother” https://t.co/EfFeS325Mg
— Right Wing Watch (@RightWingWatch) March 6, 2018
Although the measure has yet to be signed into law, it seems to be only a matter of time given the circumstances. As the final draft of the proposal is reworked by lawmakers to be more agreeable among the other representatives, it will then move to the last phase when presented to Governor Phil Bryant. Considering Bryant’s longstanding opposition to abortion and pro-choice matters, chances are that he will not hesitate to sign the bill, which would give Mississippi the most restrictive abortion ban of any other states throughout the country.
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