Tighter Abortion Clinic Regulatons Headed To Senate FloorBy Jeffrey Hess | Published 03 Apr 2012 07:18pm |
A bill to require Mississippi doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at local hospitals is headed to the Senate floor. MPB's Jeffrey Hess reports that two other abortion related bills failed to pass committee before a deadline last night.
The bill, called the admitting privileges bill, passed the Senate Public Health committee yesterday and could come to the Senate floor early next week.
Committee Chairman Dean Kirby of Pearl says the measure is intended to make abortion as safe as possible.
"This doesn't make any reference as to whether abortions are legal or illegal in Mississippi. None at all. It just says you will be a board certified OB-GYN and have an admitting hospital," Kirby said.
Some supporters of the bill say the goal is to shut down the state's only abortion clinic which is located in Jackson.
It is unclear if hospitals in the area would provide admitting privileges to doctors working at the clinic.
bills banning abortion if a fetal heart beat is detected and regulating the use of the abortion-inducing drug RU-486 died before a Tuesday deadline for committee action.
Both were in the Senate Judiciary B Committee and the committee did not cast votes on either bill.
Chairman Hob Bryan of Amory says he only brings up bills that he believes could pass and would be legal if approved by the whole legislature.
"It has virtually no chance of withstanding a court challenge. What we can do, the restrictions we can place on abortions in the first trimester are very limited. And I think this would be unconstitutional based on Roe versus Wade," Bryan said.
Anti-abortion advocate Terri Herring says court challenges to existing abortion laws are a necessary step to ending abortion in Mississippi.
"To say we are going to wait for the supreme court to change and overturn Roe V. Wade without sending bills that would possible present that challenge is unrealistic," Herring said.
The remaining abortion bill could come to the Senate floor next week.
So far it has not been amended from its original form...if it passes the Senate without amendments it would go right to the Governor's desk.
This story is part of a reporting partnership between MPB, NPR and Kaiser Health News.
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