Rogelio V. Solis/Associated Press/File 2013
JACKSON, Miss. — Governor Phil Bryant is indicating he will sign a bill that would set the earliest abortion ban in the United States.
Senators voted, 35 to 14, Tuesday to pass the measure. If the House agrees with changes made by the Senate, the bill would go to the Republican governor.
‘‘As I have repeatedly said, I want Mississippi to be the safest place in America for an unborn child,’’ Bryant said Tuesday on Twitter. ‘‘House Bill 1510 will help us achieve that goal.’’
Abortion foes nationally are exploring whether the US Supreme Court will approve laws that limit abortion before a fetus is viable outside the womb.
Mississippi’s bill would ban abortions 15 weeks after the pregnant woman’s last menstrual period. Diane Derzis, who owns the only abortion clinic in Mississippi, has said she believes the bill is ‘‘clearly unconstitutional.’’
Senator Angela Turner-Ford, a Democrat from West Point, said after the vote that she questions how the bill could be enforced. Gestational age is determined based on a pregnant women’s account of when her last period took place, rather than concrete medical tests.
Turner-Ford said this is why she believes viability is a better determination. Gestational age, she said, is ‘‘subjective.’’
Senator Deborah Dawkins, a Democrat from Pass Christian, also pointed to science, calling abortion a medical procedure, ‘‘that’s it.’’
‘‘To me, it’s a medical issue not to be interfered with by the Legislature,’’ Dawkins said.
But several Senate Republicans said it’s an issue of protecting life.
Senator Angela Burks Hill, a Republican from Picayune, called abortions after 15 weeks ‘‘barbaric’’ and ‘‘inhumane.’’ Senator Chris McDaniel, a Republican from Ellisville, said the intention of the bill is to protect the lives of 15-week-old children.
In a separate development Wednesday, the Indiana Legislature sent a bill to Governor Eric Holcomb’s desk that would require medical providers who treat women for complications arising from abortions to report detailed patient information to the state.
Though the bill is not as expansive as Indiana abortion laws passed in recent years — some of which have been thrown out in court — debate has unfolded along familiar lines.
Supporters said it’s necessary to make sure abortions are performed safely. Opponents, argued it would allow big-government meddling in personal affairs, while miring medical providers in red tape.
In the Mississippi bill, the only exceptions to the 15-week cutoff are a woman’s medical emergency related to the pregnancy or a medical abnormality that makes the fetus ‘‘incompatible with life.’’ There are no exceptions for pregnancies caused by rape or incest.
Senators amended the bill to take out possible felony charges for physicians who perform abortions later than 15 weeks. Those who do abortions after that limit would have their professional medical licenses suspended or revoked.
The bill also requires that physicians provide the Mississippi Department of Health with a record of the abortion, including the date and method of the procedure and estimated gestational age of the fetus, within 15 days of the procedure. Physicians who knowingly provide false reports would be subject to civil penalties or a fee up to $500.
Senator Joey Fillingane, a Republican from Sumrall, said senators removed the language about possible prison time for physicians because, ‘‘I just don’t want to criminalize any behavior.’’
The potential of licensing sanctions and civil penalties was enough, he said. Fillingane also said physicians groups opposed criminal penalties.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions late Friday night fired former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, a little more than 24 hours before McCabe was set to retire.Continue reading »
Basement-level customer satisfaction ratings persist because people are still flying United. If there is outrage, consumers are not adequately expressing it with their wallets.Continue reading »
At the company’s request, officials in Boston and other cities have stopped talking about their efforts to lure Amazon’s second headquarters.Continue reading »
A review of local restrictions heightens concerns that the early adult-use pot market will be smaller than many consumers expected.Continue reading »
The Patriots also agreed to a deal with offensive tackle Matt Tobin.Continue reading »
The nation’s first ocean-based wind farm has exposed what fishermen say are serious threats to them caused by scattering massive metal shafts and snaking underwater cables.Continue reading »
Here are some thoughts on NFL free agency, the Red Sox infield, and other timely sports topics . . .Continue reading »
The leader of the free world has turned his considerable ire toward a group of immigrants who came to the United States legally through a visa lottery program.Continue reading »
The Retrievers are not a particularly good shooting team. Heck, they aren’t even the best team in the America East. That would be Vermont.Continue reading »