Mississippi Gov. Signs Bill Banning Abortion After the Detection of a Fetal Heartbeat

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Posted: Mar 21, 2019 4:30 PM
Mississippi Gov. Signs Bill Banning Abortion After the Detection of a Fetal Heartbeat

Source: AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant (R) signed a bill Thursday that banned abortion after the detection of a fetal heartbeat, which can occur as early as six weeks into pregnancy. 

Responding to a tweet from the Center for Reproductive Rights calling the term heartbeat bill a “misnomer,” Gov. Bryant said, “We will all answer to the good Lord one day. I will say in this instance, 'I fought for the lives of innocent babies, even under threat of legal action.'”

Planned Parenthood president Leana Wen called such legislation “dangerous” on Twitter Thursday. The nation's largest abortion provider has been successfully battling heartbeat legislation in the courts.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) signed a similar bill last May banning abortion after the heartbeat is detected. The measure was struck down as unconstitutional after a lawsuit from Planned Parenthood.

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North Dakota and Arkansas have attempted to pass similar measures as well but they were struck down by lower courts and the Supreme Court declined to hear those cases in 2016.