Controversial abortion ban waits on governor approval - - Jackson, MS

Controversial abortion ban waits on governor approval

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"It's an unconstitutional bill, it will not hold up in court, it will be challenged almost immediately and it's is going to cost the taxpayers millions of dollars."

That's the reaction of one pro-choice advocate after she learned members of the House voted 75 to 34 to pass House Bill 1510. It bans abortions after 15 weeks of gestation. 

There are two exceptions: if a fetus has health problems preventing life outside the womb, or if a woman's life or major bodily function is threatened.

Pregnancies as a result of incest or rape are not exempt.

Right now, Mississippi's 20-week abortion ban has never been challenged. That's because the state's only abortion clinic, the Jackson Women's Health Organization, doesn't perform abortions after 18-weeks. Diane Derzis, the owner of the clinic says, she will sue if Governor Phil Bryant signs the bill into law.

The governor has reiterated his support for the bill, recently tweeting:

"As I have repeatedly said, I want Mississippi to be the safest state in America for an unborn child. House Bill 1510 will help us do that," the governor tweeted.

Josh Tom, the Legal Director for ACLU of Mississippi, says, if it's signed into law, Mississippi will be putting itself in a bad position.

"The United States Supreme Court established that women do have the right to have an abortion. The ultimate goal of the legislators in Mississippi is to abolish that right and this is just one step on their path to achieving that ultimate goal and this is one step too far when it comes to the constitution."

Attorney General Jim Hood says he expects legal challenges and noted that less-restrictive measures banning abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy have been struck down in other states.

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