Mississippi Gestational Age Act (HB 1510)
This law was last updated on Nov 20, 2018
HB 1510 would prohibit abortions after 15 weeks gestation, except in a medical emergency and in cases of severe fetal abnormality.
The bill would prohibit a physician from performing an abortion without first determining the probable gestational age of the fetus. The determination of probable gestational should be made according to standard medical practices and techniques used in the community.
Except in a medical emergency or in the case of a severe fetal abnormality, a person shall not intentionally or knowingly perform, induce, or attempt to perform or induce an abortion of an fetus if the probable gestational age of the fetus has been determined to be greater than 15 weeks.
A physician who violates this provision would be committing an act of unprofessional conduct and his or her medical license would be suspended or revoked.
For each time a physician performs or induces an abortion on a fetus with a gestational age greater than 15 weeks, they would be required to submit a report to the health department with the following information:
- Date the abortion was performed;
- Specific method of abortion used;
- The probable gestational age of the fetus and the method used to calculate the age;
- A statement declaring that the abortion was necessary to preserve the life or physical health of the maternal patient;
- Specific medical indications supporting the abortion; and
- Probable health consequences of the abortion and specific abortion method used.
A physician who knowingly submits a falsified report would be subject to a civil penalty or fine up to $500.00 per violation.
The legislative findings in this bill mention a procedure known as dilation and evacuation (D and E), which is frequently used during second-trimester abortions. According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, an abortion using suction aspiration can be performed up to 14 weeks’ gestation, but after 14 weeks the D and E procedure must be used to perform an abortion. As such, dilation and evacuation bans, depending upon their language, may ban all surgical abortion past 14 weeks’ gestation. (Source.)
It should be noted however, that Mississippi already has a ban on the dilation and evacuation procedure.
Companion bill to SB 2905.
This is the first bill introduced specifically prohibiting abortions after 15 weeks. It is the first step of a new effort by Alliance Defending Freedom to “eradicate Roe” and pass laws banning abortions at the state level.
Passed the house on February 2, 2018, by a 79-31 vote.
Passed the senate on March 6, 2018, by a 35-14 vote.
The original bill included criminal penalties for physicians performing the procedure after 15 weeks. The amended version, which passed in the senate, removed the criminal penalties.
House concurred in amendment from senate on March 8, 2018, by a 75-34 vote.
Signed by Gov. Phil Bryant (R) on March 19, 2018. The law will take effect immediately.
The Center for Reproductive Rights filed a lawsuit challenging the law on March 19, 2018.
A federal judge temporarily blocked the law on March 20, 2018.
On November 20, 2018, U.S. District Court Judge Carlton Reeves permanently blocked the 15-week ban ruling the law is an unconstitutional ban on abortion prior to viability.