/Heartbeat abortion ban passes Senate with no debate, awaits governor’s signature

Heartbeat abortion ban passes Senate with no debate, awaits governor’s signature

The legislation would have banned abortions as early as the sixth week of a woman’s pregnancy. It was opposed by fifteen Democrats. When the bill first arrived on the Senate floor in February, both the Democrats and Republicans had delayed the vote for almost an hour. Democrats claimed that the bill would ban abortions even before many women knew they were pregnant. Senator Deborah Dawkins (D-Pass Christian), was one of the most vocal opponents to the bill in February. She said that there was a feeling among Democrats about opposition now being futile. However, she did vote “hell yes” when her name was called today. Dawkins stated that she had debated the bill and discussed it over and over again for many years. She was referring to the dozens of abortion bills the Legislature has taken up in the past decade. “And I don’t mind doing it again. But it seems to be falling on deaf ears.” Now, the bill will move on to Governor’s desk. Gov. Phil Bryant, who repeatedly pledged to make Mississippi “the most safe place in America for unborn children,” said that he will sign the legislation. Although the governor’s office didn’t respond to a request for comment shortly after the bill passed, Lt. Governor. Tate Reeves is running this year for governor and he supported the bill in an email release. Reeves stated that Mississippians value the sanctity and worth of life, and they expect their elected leaders will uphold those beliefs. “A beating heart clearly indicates that life has begun and should not be destroyed,” Reeves said. Mississippi will now have the strictest abortion policy in the United States. Similar legislation is in place in Mississippi, Ohio, Georgia, and Tennessee. Judges in Iowa and Kentucky voted against fetal heartbeat legislation recently passed in these states. Originaly, both the Senate and the House had passed their own fetal-heartbeat abortion bills. However, the Senate’s bill was defeated on the Senate floor. Today’s senate legislation, however, includes the House language that Sen. Joey Fillingane (R-Sumrall) said “strips away a lot of extraneous text (in the original senate bills) and boils down to the basics.” Last Wednesday, Senate Bill 2116 passed the House by a vote 78 to 37. Only Missy McGee (R-Hattiesburg), opposed the legislation. “As we have seen on both the Senate and House sides, the Republican leadership as well as the Republican majority, they possess the votes. “And whether it’s right to do so, they have the votes,” stated Sen. Derrick Simmons (D-Greenville), explaining why he declined to debate today’s bill after having argued against it in February. “And there was not need to engage in a new floor fight when it is highly unlikely that a compromiscio will be reached.” None of the states that have passed fetal-heartbeat bills have survived constitutional scrutiny. A federal judge ruled that Mississippi’s 15-week less restrictive ban, which was passed during the 2018 legislative session in December, was unconstitutional. After the vote, Sen. Joey Fillingane (R-Sumrall) and Rep. Sam Mims (R-McComb), told Mississippi Today that the recent U.S. Supreme Court appointment of Brett Kavanaugh could alter the definition of “constitutional.” “The 2017 appointment of Justice (Neil) Gorsuch didn’t change anything politically, as you were replacing one very conservative judge with another very conservative. Then, when Justice Kennedy announced his retirement plans, and Justice Kavanaugh was finally seated, I think people on both the left and right started to wonder, “Oh my goodness.” Since 2012, Mississippi legislators have introduced fetal-heartbeat abortion bills in every legislative session. All of these bills were defeated in committee before this year. To support this important work, you can make a regular donation to us today as part of the Spring Member Drive.