Mississippi 72-Hour Waiting Period Bill (SB 2138)
Last updated: Jan 13, 2015
SB 2138 would have required a 72-hour waiting period in three areas of Mississippi law: (1) informed consent; (2) forced ultrasound; and (3) parental consent.
The bill would have amended Mississippi’s informed consent law, Miss. Code § 41-41-33, to increase the minimum waiting period before a woman can have an abortion from 24 hours to 72 hours. All of the informed consent requirements would have been required to be met 72 hours before the abortion.
The bill would have amended Mississippi’s forced ultrasound requirement, Miss. Code § 41-41-34 to include a 72-hour waiting period. Before the performance of an abortion, the physician would be required offer the woman an opportunity to view the ultrasound, offer the woman a physical picture of the ultrasound image, and offer the woman the opportunity to hear the fetal heartbeat 72 hours before the abortion. In addition, the physician would be required to obtain written certification that the woman was offered the opportunity 72 hours before the abortion.
Current law does not include a waiting period. During the 2013 legislative session, the Mississippi legislature tried and failed to pass a bill (HB 1292) that would have instituted a 24-hour waiting period for the forced ultrasound requirement.
The bill would have amended Mississippi’s parental consent requirements, Miss. Code § 41-41-53, to require parental consent to an abortion 72 hours before the abortion. Current law does not include a time frame during which consent must be obtained.
Similar to HB 1292, which was introduced and failed to pass in 2013.