(FamilyRetirementClub.com)- Mississippi banned certain abortions on Wednesday when Governor Tate Reeves signed the Life Equality Act into law. The new law bans any abortion that is based on the race, disability or sex of a fetus in the state.
The law makes any “sex-selective, race-selective or disability-selective abortion” a felony charge. It passed the state Senate 33-11, passed in the state House of Representatives by a vote of 91-25, then made its way to Reeves to sign.
Calling them “modern-day eugenics,” the bill specifically mentioned abortions that targeted a fetus’ sex or genetic abnormalities. According to the law:
“Sex-selective abortions are used to prevent the birth of a human being of the undesired sex. Its victims are overwhelming female.”
Disabled individuals today have “much greater opportunities for survival and success than ever before,” the law states, citing advances in gene therapies, pharmaceutical treatments and prosthetics.
Physicians who are performing abortions that all procedures they do aren’t being performed because of any of the categories that are banned in the law. Doctors who violate the new law could face up to 10 years in prison and also have their physician’s license suspended in Mississippi.
The Susan B. Anthony List, a pro-life group, praised the “strong pro-life leadership” of Reeves. In a statement, they said:
“The enactment of the Life Equality Act is an historic victory for the pro-life citizens of Mississippi, for the voiceless victims of discrimination and all who advocate for them. Starting now, unborn babies in Mississippi cannot be targeted for abortion based on their sex, race or potential disability, such as Down syndrome.”
There are opponents to the bill, however, such as the Mississippi Center for Justice. Its advocacy director, Beth Orlansky, said:
“This unconstitutional restriction adversely affects poor women who do not have the means to seek assistance elsewhere.”
Abortion rights have been front and center this week. The Supreme Court struck down a law in Louisiana that placed limits on abortions in the state. The law in question required doctors who performed abortions to have admitting privileges at a hospital within a certain radius of their abortion clinic.
In essence, the law was forcing two of the state’s three abortion providers to shut down. Chief Justice John Roberts sided with the four liberal justices on the decision.
The Supreme Court also directed lower courts to re-examine restrictive abortion laws in Indiana. And the court also declined to hear two cases that dealt with freedom of speech for protesters who congregate outside abortion clinics.
Mississippi’s new law stands a better chance of holding up in court, though, based on precedence that’s already been set by other states. In Missouri, for example, a ban on abortions after eight weeks was struck down by a federal judge. However, that same judge allowed a provision within the law to stand. That provision specifically banned abortions based on a fetus’ sex.
According to a Guttmacher Institute report, two states currently ban abortions based on race, two ban abortions based on genetic anomalies, and nine ban abortions due to the fetus’ sex.