Mississippi Lawmakers Pass Nation’s Most Restrictive Abortion Law

Mississippi lawmakers have passed a bill banning abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, a measure the governor is expected to sign.

The Mississippi House on Thursday approved the measure in a 75-34 vote, according to The Associated Press.

The bill, which if signed into law would be the nation’s most restrictive abortion law, changes the state’s current law prohibiting abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy to 15 weeks.

It includes exceptions if the woman’s life or a “major bodily function” is threatened or if the fetus has a health problem that would mean it likely wouldn’t survive outside the womb.

It doesn’t include exemptions in cases of rape or incest, according to the AP.

The Senate passed the bill in a 35-14 vote after a heated floor debate, and it was sent back to the House.

Senators had stripped the House’s language that would punish physicians who performed abortions after 15 weeks, according to the Clarion Ledger.

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant (R) voiced his support for the measure.

“As I have repeatedly said, I want Mississippi to be the safest place in America for an unborn child,” Bryant tweeted Tuesday.

Mississippi’s only abortion clinic, Jackson Women’s Health Organization, has already threatened to sue.

Clinic owner Diane Derzis told the Clarion Ledger that the bill means the clinic will have to refer people out of state and “we will be planning to sue.”