Rep. Becky Currie (R-Brookhaven) defended the legislation. She said that while abortion should be prohibited after 15 weeks, it still allows a woman enough time to decide if she wants to keep the baby. Currie stated, “At that point, it’s up to you to decide whether or not you want to carry that child.” Gov. Phil Bryant has repeatedly supported limiting abortion access. He stated in his State of the State speech of 2014 that “My goal” was to end abortions in Mississippi. Bryant also echoed the sentiment after the House passed the bill. “As I’ve repeatedly stated, I want Mississippi the safest state in America for unborn children. House Bill 1510 will help achieve this goal. I am grateful that the House passed it. Bryant stated that he looks forward to signing the bill once the Senate follows my lead. The House passed the bill by a vote of 79% to 30. This was largely on party lines. It is expected that the Senate will support it as well, with a Republican majority. Ron Matis, the chairman of the Mississippi Advisory Council on Faith based Initiatives, stated that Mississippi is blessed to have pro-life leaders. He said that Mississippi has the right to keep the life of a mother’s young child safe. Bryant appointed Matis, a Mississippi District United Pentecostal Church officer, to the new council in august. Mississippi joined several other states that banned abortions after 20 weeks. However, there were exceptions for the health and life of the mother as well as the fetus. Similar exceptions would be included in the 15-week ban. There is currently no country-wide abortion ban that applies to women who are less than 20 weeks pregnant. Mississippi’s 15-week-ban will be the first to become law and could face a constitutional challenge. Rep. Adrienne Wooten (D-Jackson), said that if the bill passes, “I can guarantee there will be an constitutional challenge to it.” The Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals revoked an Arkansas law banning abortion after 12 weeks of gestation in 2015. Judges ruled that the appeals court was bound to a 1992 U.S. Supreme Court decision which upheld the right of a woman to have an abortion before she is viable. A fetus considered viable after 20 weeks is the norm. The surprise appearance of the Mississippi bill on the House floor Friday afternoon was mirrored in its late-night appearance in the Judiciary B Committee, which passed it hours before the deadline for Tuesday. While representatives discussed Constitutional issues, the debate was largely focused on the necessity of the bill. Those in favor said that banning abortions at 15 week gestation would be good for the mother and her baby’s health. Opponents of the bill claimed it was a misplaced priority for the state. They said they were constantly overlooking more important issues for women’s health. “Why aren’t you trying to expand the Affordable Health Care Act so that these women could have actual coverage?” Rep. John Hines (D-Greenville) asked Andy Gipson (R-Braxton), why the bill was presented. Gipson stated that the state has a “compelling, legitimate interest in protecting lives including those of the unborn” and “the lives of mothers and babies.” Rep. John Hines, D-Greenville, asked Andy Gipson (R-Braxton), who presented the bill. Wooten questioned Currie about the right of the state to force her to have that child during a heated exchange. Currie stated, “I believe life is precious and children can be a gift of God.” Currie said, “And if your child is not what you want, there are others who do want it.” “Then then why are we having children in Child Protection Services that cannot be placed?” Wooten replied, citing the 6 000 children in Mississippi’s foster-care system. “We have children who age outside the system because nobody wants them.” Currie did not immediately respond to Wooten’s comments about foster care, but she returned to the topic during the closing remarks on the bill. Do you really think all those children, who were born into a difficult situation, would have been happier dead? Are we sure that all of those children aren’t happy to be alive? They are, and I believe they are. I urge you to vote in favor of this bill. It will only take you 1-2 minutes to complete this survey. Republish this Story You can republish our articles online or in print for free under a Creative Commons licence. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.