Miss. Governor Signs Restrictive Fetal ‘Heartbeat Bill’

Miss. Governor Signs Restrictive Fetal ‘Heartbeat Bill’ Designed To Challenge Roe V. Wade

The new Mississippi bill prohibits the abortion of a fetus with a detectable heartbeat, before the point where a woman may be aware she is pregnant.

Although similar “heartbeat bills” have failed in court countless times, the measure is part of a wave of restrictive state-level legislation that is geared toward challenging Roe v. Wade in the Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, in the federal House, there’s no longer a single Republican who supports abortion rights.

Reuters: Mississippi Governor Signs ‘Heartbeat’ Abortion Ban

Mississippi’s Republican governor signed one of America’s strictest abortion bills on Thursday banning women from obtaining an abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected, which can often occur before a woman even realizes she is pregnant.

Dubbed the ‘heartbeat bill,’ this is the second legislative attempt in less than a year aimed at restricting abortions in a state with a single abortion clinic. In a tweet earlier this week, Governor Phil Bryant thanked the state’s legislature for “protecting the unborn” by passing the bill and sending it to him for his signature. (3/21)

The Washington Post: Mississippi’s New Fetal-Heartbeat Law Bans Most Abortions At About 6 Weeks

Mississippi’s new restrictions are part of a reinvigorated nationwide effort to limit access to abortion, propelled by Republican-dominated state legislatures and an increasingly conservative Supreme Court. This year alone, 12 states have introduced so-called heartbeat bills, including Texas, Florida, Georgia, Ohio and Missouri — some of the country’s most populous states. (Thebault, 3/21)

The Associated Press: Glance At What Some State Legislatures Are Doing On Abortion

Mississippi’s governor signed into law one of the most restrictive abortion bans in the country on Thursday. The bill outlaws abortions after the heartbeat of a fetus can be detected, around roughly the sixth week of a pregnancy.

The ban is set to take effect on July 1, but abortion-rights advocates have already pledged to file lawsuits to stop it. Actions taken on abortion by legislatures across the United States. (3/21)

Cleveland Plain Dealer: Federal Judge Partially Blocks Ohio Law Tightening Abortion Restrictions

A federal judge issued a temporary restraining order late Thursday that partially blocked an Ohio law banning an abortion method called dilation and evacuation — the most common method of second-trimester abortions.

Senior U.S. District Judge Michael Barrett in Cincinnati listed several portions of the law, which then-Gov. John Kasich signed in December, that he barred from being enforced. He did not fully block the implementation of the law, which is set to go into effect Friday. (Heisig, 3/21)

The Wall Street Journal: House Republicans Now Unanimous In Opposing Abortion Rights

The start of a new Democratic-led House this year also marked the end of an era, as the House Republican caucus now doesn’t have a single lawmaker considered a supporter of abortion rights. The unanimity on opposing abortion rights followed the retirements of centrist Republican Reps. Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania and Rodney Frelinghuysen of New Jersey.

Their ranks could continue to diminish in the Senate, where only GOP Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine remain as supporters of abortion rights. (Peterson, 3/21)

And in other news on abortions and family planning funding —

Politico: Blue States Threaten To Drop Family Planning Program Over Trump Abortion Rule

Some Democratic states plan to withdraw from the main federal family planning program if they can’t win a court challenge to stop the Trump administration from steering the money away from health providers who offer abortions or make abortion referrals.

Oregon and Washington already have said they would opt out of the Title X program, which steers $286.5 million for birth control and reproductive health services for low-income women, if the new rules take effect in early May. Maryland could soon join them, and other states may follow. They say the new restrictions would undermine medical care for patients, and, in some cases, violate state laws. (Roubein and Ollstein, 3/21) Source. 


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