Mississippi Senate approves nation's earliest abortion ban

Mississippi Senate approves nation's earliest abortion ban
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The Mississippi state Senate passed a bill Tuesday that would prohibit abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, the nation's most restrictive abortion ban.  

The Senate passed the House bill by a 35-14 vote, according to the Clarion Ledger. It will be held for more debate before it is sent back to the House and on to Gov. Phil Bryant (R), who is expected to sign it. 

If it is passed into law, it would prohibit abortions 15 weeks after the woman’s last menstrual period. Current Mississippi law prohibits the procedure after 20 weeks. 

It would be the nation’s earliest abortion ban and Mississippi's only abortion clinic, Jackson Women's Health Organization, told the Clarion Ledger it would be forced to turn certain patients away and refer them out of state. 

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Exceptions would be allowed in cases of medical emergency or fetal medical abnormality. It does not make exceptions for cases of rape or incest, the news outlet reported. 

Clinic owner Diane Derzis said the bill is unconstitutional following the Supreme Court decisions in the Roe v. Wade case and the 1992 Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey case, which found states could not place "an undue burden" on pregnant women seeking abortions. 

"These groups are tossing anything and everything out there, anything that could start winding its way through the legal system because we're in a very fragile place right now," Derzis told the Clarion Ledger. "Roe is clearly in danger and that's what they're preparing for … They hope by the time they get to the Supreme Court they will have changed the Supreme Court."

Senators stripped the original House legislation that included possible felony charges for physicians who performed abortions later than 15 weeks. 

President TrumpDonald John TrumpAlaska Republican Party cancels 2020 primary Ukrainian official denies Trump pressured president Trump goes after New York Times, Washington Post: 'They have gone totally CRAZY!!!!' MORE has supported a federal ban on abortions after 20 weeks. The bill passed in the House last year but was blocked by Democrats in the Senate in January.