Mississippi Preborn Pain Act (HB 1400)

State:

Number: HB 1400

Status: Current

Proposed: January 20, 2014

Enacted: April 23, 2014

Link: billstatus.ls.state.ms.us...

Topics: ,

Last updated Jul 8, 2014.

HB 1400 bans abortion at 20 weeks “probable gestational age” unless an abortion is necessary to avert the death or substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function of the pregnant woman. The abortion ban does not apply to an abortion performed or induced on a fetus that has a severe fetal abnormality. The bill requires abortions performed after 20 weeks to be performed in a manner that provides the best opportunity for the “unborn child” to survive.

The bill includes legislative findings based on junk science that a fetus can feel pain at 20 weeks, and specifically prohibits a physician from performing an abortion on a woman when the fetus is capable of feeling pain. The bill states that a fetus shall be deemed capable of feeling pain if the probable gestational age of the fetus is 20 or more weeks.

The bill also includes legislative findings that abortion can cause both short-term and long-term physical and psychological complications for women.

STATUS

The House passed the bill in February 2014. The Senate passed an amended version of the house bill in March 2014. Notably, the Senate rejected an amendment that would have created an exception for rape and incest.

Gov. Bryant signed the bill into law on April 23, 2014.

This bill is similar to Arizona’s 20-week ban (HB 2036) which the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down as unconstitutional in Isaacson v. Horne.