Mississippi Abortion Ban Bill Passes House; Moves to Senate for Approval

By Terry Vanderheyden

JACKSON, Mississippi, March 3, 2006 ( – A bill to ban abortion passed Thursday by a 94-25 margin in Mississippi’s House, but only after a heated debate had significantly altered the proposal of an outright ban to include exceptions for rape and incest. Senate Bill 2922 now heads back to the Senate for approval of the changes.

The original Senate bill mandated that women view an ultrasound or listen to the heartbeat of their unborn baby before undergoing an abortion. A House Public Health and Human Services Committee later amended the bill to outlaw all abortions, with the exception of when a mother’s life was in danger. Gov. Haley Barbour said Wednesday he would likely sign that bill into law, although he favored the rape and incest exceptions.

Democratic Rep. Erik Fleming was responsible for the amendment that now would allow abortions to be committed in the case of rape and incest. “Regardless of the amount of counseling that may be available, I think it’s an unfair burden,” he claimed, according to a Clarion Ledger report.

House members Deryk Parker (D) and Joey Fillingane (R) argued unsuccessfully against the rape and incest exceptions. “Life begins at conception,” Parker emphasized. “God does not make mistakes.” Fillingane added, “The product of that union is not criminal.”

Pro-Life Mississippi President Terri Herring said she was happy the bill was passed, but disappointed with the rape and incest exceptions. “We were disappointed that the rape and incest exceptions were added,” she said. “I think it’s our responsibility to have a pure Pro-Life message that has to be you don’t kill a child for the crime of his father.”

South Dakota passed a similar bill banning abortions last week, with no exception for rape or incest. It is now before Republican Gov. Mike Rounds, who has said he will probably sign it into law.

See related coverage:
  Mississippi Close to Banning Abortions—Governor Likely to Sign Bill
  New Book Smashes Rape Exception for Abortion Idea
  Rape & Incest Victims Call for Congressional Hearings on Abortion

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