Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour (R) signed a bill into law yesterday that will outlaw and criminalize all abortions in the event that the US Supreme Court overturns its 1973 decision in Roe v Wade. The bill only allows exceptions if the life of a woman is in jeopardy or if a woman has become pregnant resulting from a rape that was reported to law enforcement. There is no exception for incest. Any doctor who performs an abortion for any other reason will face up to 10 years in prison.
The bill also requires that all physicians perform fetal ultrasound imaging and fetal heart tone services for any patient undergoing abortion. The doctor must then offer to show the image and play the audio of the heartbeat to the woman.
Similar trigger laws and abortion bans have been considered in South Carolina, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Georgia, and South Dakota. Kentucky is considering a bill that would require physicians to inform the patient that at 20 weeks an "unborn child has the physical structures necessary to experience pain," despite evidence that shows this statement is untrue, according to Kaiser Women's Daily Health Policy Report.
Media Resources: Mississippi SB 2391; International Herald Tribune 3/22/07; Kaiser Daily Women's Health Policy Report 3/23/07; Sun Herald 3/22/07