On Thursday, Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant (R) is expected to sign a bill that would extend Mississippi’s mandatory abortion waiting period to 270 days. Given the average length of pregnancy and the illegality of late-term abortions this law will essentially ban all abortions in the state of Mississippi.
Bryant has been a vocal advocate of abolishing abortion rights. Earlier this year he stated, “We want Mississippi to be abortion free.” Mississippi already has some of the strictest anti-abortion laws in the country. The state’s lone abortion clinic, which has been subject to numerous threats of violence, may be forced to close by yet another piece of legislation. This past Monday, a second bill was signed by Bryant that would require doctors who perform abortions to be a certified OB-GYN with admitting privileges to a local hospital. Due to religious and political reasons along with the threat of violence from radical opponents, obtaining admitting privileges can be very difficult. One might wonder why this bill would be necessary with the passage of the new 270-day waiting period. Bryant appears to be circumventing potential legal entanglements by producing multiple anti-abortion laws with hopes that some of them will get through the courts. At a recent Jesus Loves Embryos charity event Bryant stated, “If we pass 1,000 laws to limit abortion, some will get through and we will be that much closer to victory.”
Women’s rights advocates claim that the 270-day mandatory waiting period is clearly unconstitutional under Roe v Wade as well as subsequent Supreme Court cases. They believe that this latest attempt to regulate women’s bodies will only result in costly legal fees for Mississippi citizens. Bryant appears to be willing to take that chance, “This is a necessary action in the ongoing battle against a murderous act. This bill, standing alone, does not ban abortion so the Courts should leave it alone. If they do not, we will fight.” However, the cost of that fight will undoubtedly harm the already impoverished people of Mississippi. Bryant has already made cuts to state-run orphanages, the public school lunch program and welfare recipients. In Mississippi, as comedian George Carlin once said, “If you’re pre-born, you’re fine; if you’re pre-school, you’re fucked.”
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