Mississippi’s Republican governor Phil Bryant just signed the nation’s strictest abortion bill into law, the Associated Press reports.
House Bill 1510 bans most abortions after 15 weeks, with no exceptions for rape or incest. The only exceptions are if “a fetus has health problems making it ‘incompatible with life’ outside of the womb at full term, or if a pregnant woman’s life or a ‘major bodily function’ is threatened by pregnancy.”
When the bill initially passed in a state Senate committee, Senator Joey Fillingane claimed that rape or incest exceptions were not necessary because victims would “know immediately” what they’d been subjected to and quickly get an abortion within the time limit. (Advocates told Mississippi Today that those victims actually tend to take longer to report what’s happened to them.)
Mississippi previously banned abortions after 20 weeks, and there is only one Planned Parenthood clinic serving the entire state. Bryant has been previously quoted as saying that he wants his state to be the “safest place in America for an unborn child.”