JACKSON, Miss. — Mississippi lawmakers have passed what is likely to be the nation’s most restrictive abortion law.
The House on Thursday approved by a vote of 75-34 a measure that would make most abortions illegal after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Republican Gov. Phil Bryant has said he’ll sign the bill. The Mississippi Senate passed the measure on Tuesday.
The bill could spark a court challenge focusing on whether states can ban abortions before fetuses can survive outside the womb. The owner of Mississippi’s only abortion clinic has pledged to sue.
There are two exceptions to the bill: if the fetus has a health problem that would prevent it from surviving outside the womb at full term, or if the pregnant woman’s life or a “major bodily function” is threatened by the pregnancy. Pregnancies as a result of rape and incest would not be exempt.
Mississippi now prohibits abortion after 20 weeks.