The state of Mississippi is setting an example for pro-life lawmakers across the country to follow as its governor signed into law legislation which bans most abortions.
The “Heartbeat Bill,” signed into law by Republican Governor Phil Bryant, bans all abortive procedures after a fetal heartbeat is discovered. This usually occurs around the six-week mark of pregnancy.
As ABC News reports, this is not the first time a state has passed their version of a heartbeat bill as similar efforts were signed into law by Kentucky, Iowa, and North Dakota. All three instances were taken to court and ultimately defeated by federal judges who cited the Supreme Court’s ruling in the 1973 abortion landmark case Roe v. Wade.
The legislation in Mississippi will undoubtedly face the same legal challenge, something Republican lawmakers are hoping for, ABC News reports:
Bolstered by the court’s new conservative majority, the legislators say their strategy is to have court cases involving the restrictive state abortion laws work their way through the appeals process and eventually come before the highest court in the land.
“I think the point is to try to get a case before the U.S. Supreme Court in an effort to try to restrict abortion or overturn Roe v. Wade, and it’s also designed to show the conservative base this governor and this conservative legislature will do anything to restrict abortion — with an effort to ban it outright,” said Joshua Tom, legal director with the ACLU of Mississippi, in a phone interview.
According to the report, similar pro-life legislation is being pushed by legislatures in Tennessee, Missouri, Ohio, and Georgia.
Lawmakers in New York, Virginia, and Vermont are looking to expand a woman’s right to an abortion—up until the moment of birth and even after birth.
“We’ll see you in court Mississippi,” tweeted the Center for Reproductive Rights, a nationwide abortion advocacy group, following Gov. Bryant decision to sign the bill into law.
Bryant welcomed the “threat of legal action” and said he will continue to fight “for the lives of innocent babies.”