At first glance, the story “Karen’s Law dies after receiving abortion amendment” seems like a typical public interest article lamenting a popular piece of legislation that failed to become law due to political game-playing. Karen’s Law, which would have added 10 years to a manslaughter sentence if the victim was a child, flew through the state senate with unanimous support, only to be derailed once an abortion amendment was tagged on.
Republican Senator Chris McDaniel was confident Karen’s Law would pass the House. But when the bill was sent to the Mississippi House, it was amended.
“Part of the provisions that were attached to the bill dealt with abortion. And, of course, I’m pro-life and 100% in favor of any statutory restrictions that would limit abortions in this state,” said McDaniel.
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An abortion bill, attached to a law dealing with manslaughter. This may sound odd, but this is something Senator McDaniel says is completely within their rights.
“What happens is, it’s an issue of germanous. If there is similarity in the bill to another issue, and a Senator or House member wishes to add their amendment to that issue, as long as the amendment is germane to the bill, then it’s allowed,” explained McDaniel.
With the amendment attached, the bill was sent back to the Mississippi Senate.
“It was thought the amendment would fit well. Although, in doing that, the Chairmen of Judiciary B decided that he did not like it. There for he would not risk bringing it back to the Senate and the bill just died in his pocket. Like a pocket veto,” said McDaniel.
What’s interesting is how deliberate the story is about not mentioning the intent of the amendment that was attached to Karen’s Law. It was the proposed “heartbeat ban,” a law that would make virtually any abortion performed after a heartbeat could be detected — as early as 4 weeks post conception — a felony.
I have contacted the author of the article to learn if it was an inadvertent oversight, if it was deliberate, or if he included that information and it was edited out by someone else. So far, I have yet to receive a response.