Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant (R) on Thursday signed a bill which prohibits doctors from performing abortions after the point in which an ultrasound detects fetal cardiac activity.
The law contains exceptions for pregnancies found to endanger the woman’s life, but not for cases involving rape or incest. Doctors caught in violation of the law will be charged with a misdemeanor and could lose their medical license.
Mississippi passed a law in 2018 banning abortions after 15 weeks, but the law was struck down by a federal judge as “unconstitutional.” The new law, which is scheduled to go into effect on July 1st, cuts that window down to six weeks.
“We think that this is showing a profound respect and desire of Mississippians to protect the sanctity of life of that very unborn life whenever possible,” said Governor Bryant.
Opponents insist the bill provides a too-small window for women who desire an abortion.
“Today, Mississippi’s anti-choice governor signed an extremist ban that effectively outlaws abortion across the state. This is about punishing and controlling women – and if not blocked in the courts, it will have absolutely devastating effects,” tweeted the pro-abortion organization NARAL.
As it stands, federal law allows abortions until the point at which a fetus is able to survive outside the womb.