A DeSoto County legislator has authored legislation that would make the inducing or performing of an abortion illegal in the state of Mississippi.
State Rep. Dan Eubanks (R-Walls) authored the legislation that is listed as House Bill 338. State Rep. Brady Williamson (R-Oxford) also signed on to the bill as an additional author.
The bill was introduced to the House on Tuesday, Jan. 18 and referred to the Judiciary B Committee for further consideration.
The measure would provide that any person who willfully causes an abortion would be guilty of felony murder.
A woman who attempts to “procure or produce” an abortion or miscarriage would be guilty of a felony and could receive up to 10 years in jail.
The bill would also add increased penalties for those who advertise medicine or tools that could be used in an unlawful abortion.
Abortion-rights activists have quickly attacked the latest effort in the Legislature to restrict or ban abortion in the Magnolia State. Groups speaking out included Planned Parenthood Southeast Advocates in a tweet on its Twitter site.
“The Mississippi legislature just dropped its first attack on abortion, HB338,” the tweet said. “Take action NOW; demand that your legislators protect access to safe, legal abortion.”
A federal appeals court has ruled the state’s most recent efforts against abortion were unconstitutional. The judicial rulings began when the Legislature passed a ban on abortion at 15 weeks of pregnancy.
After that ruling, lawmakers came back with an even more restrictive law that banned most abortions at about six weeks.
Both legislative efforts were blocked by U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves.
Last October, the state filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court to ask clarification on the unconstitutionality of the 15-week abortion ban. A ruling on that request has not come back from the Supreme Court.
Mississippi already has some of the most restrictive laws about abortion in the nation and has but one licensed abortion facility, the Jackson Women’s Health Organization.
You can read House Bill 338 on the Mississippi Legislature website.