Gov. Bryant Signs 15-Week Abortion Ban to Make Mississippi 'Safest Place in America for an Unborn Child'

Phil Bryant / Facebook
March 19, 2018

Gov. Phil Bryant (R., Miss.) signed the country's strictest abortion restrictions into law on Monday, immediately banning abortion procedures after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

While Mississippi's new law, also known as the Gestational Age Act, makes exceptions for medical emergencies and situations that could result in "severe fetal abnormality," there are no exceptions for incidents of rape or incest, according to CNN.

"As 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," Bryant tweeted earlier this month in anticipation of the bill's passage.

The anti-abortion law puts physicians on notice to make sure that they know that they are required to submit reports explaining the circumstances behind the abortion. The law states that Mississippi medical licenses will be suspended or revoked if physicians knowingly violate the law.

"Abortion is a safe medical procedure and it is a critical part of the broad spectrum of reproductive health care that a woman may use in her lifetime," Felicia Brown-Williams, Mississippi state director for Planned Parenthood Southeast Advocates, said in a statement. "This ban is not only unconstitutional—it endangers women's health care across our state. If legislators truly cared about women's health, they would be focused on ways to improve access to health care for women, not restrict it."

This comes in addition to the state's other requirements for abortions. Physicians who perform abortions must be board-certified or -eligible obstetrician-gynecologists, and the state requires women seeking abortions to receive in-person counseling and wait for a 24-hour period.

Bryant said Monday that he is proud to sign the bill that afternoon.

"I was proud to sign House Bill 1510 this afternoon. I am committed to making Mississippi the safest place in America for an unborn child, and this bill will help us achieve that goal," Bryant tweeted Monday.

Published under: Abortion , CNN