JACKSON, MS, April 2, 2014 ( – Mississippi is poised to become the next state to bar abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Gov. Phil Bryant announced he intends to sign a bill that passed the state legislature by wide margins.

House Bill 1400 “represents a great effort to protect the unborn in Mississippi,” Bryant said.

The bill, which passed the state House and Senate on Tuesday by lopsided margins (91-20 and 41-10, respectively), would allow a late-term abortion if the woman would face permanent bodily injury or in the case of severe fetal anomalies.


Mississippi has only one abortion facility in the state, Jackson Women's Health Organization. Diane Derzis says the office does not perform abortions after 16 weeks.

However, state records show two abortions performed at 21 weeks or later, and nearly 400 in which the gestational age was undetermined.

Bryant has said he looks forward to the day when Mississippi is “abortion-free.”

“I clearly said I want to end abortion in Mississippi,” he said.

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He blasted critics for opposing previous laws he signed, requiring abortionists to have admitting privileges.

Abortion advocates do not care about women's health, he said. “Their one mission in life is to abort children, is to kill children in the womb.”

In 2010 as lieutenant governor, Bryant supported a state personhood effort. If successful, it would have amended the state constitution to read that life begins at “the moment of fertilization, cloning or the functional equivalent thereof.”