Mississippi Heartbeat Abortion Ban (HB 732)
This law was last updated on Feb 16, 2019
HB 732 would prohibit a person from performing an abortion without first making a determination if the fetus has a detectable fetal heartbeat. If a fetal heartbeat is detected, the person would be prohibited from performing or inducing an abortion.
A fetal heartbeat can be detected as early as six weeks of pregnancy—two weeks after a person’s first missed period—and well before many even realize that they are pregnant.
The bill would allow the State Board of Health to establish rules for the appropriate methods of performing an examination for the presence of a fetal heartbeat based on standard medical practice.
Except in the case of a medical emergency, a physician who performs an abortion on a pregnant person before determining if a fetus has a detectable heartbeat would face disciplinary action and may have their license revoked.
If a fetal heartbeat is detected, the person intending to perform the abortion would be required to inform the pregnant person in writing that the fetus that has a fetal heartbeat and inform the pregnant person, to the best of the person’s knowledge, of the statistical probability of bringing the fetus to term based on the gestational age of the fetus.
The pregnant person would be required to sign a form acknowledging that they received the information.
The bill would prohibit a person from knowingly performing an abortion on a pregnant person with the specific intent of causing or abetting the termination of a pregnancy when a fetal heartbeat has been detected. If an abortion is performed, the physician would be required to detail the medical reason in the patient’s records.
An abortion may be performed if such a procedure is designed to or intended to prevent the death of a pregnant person or to prevent a serious risk of the substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function of the pregnant person.
A person who performs an abortion on a pregnant person when a fetal heartbeat has been detected and there is no medical emergency would be guilty of a misdemeanor.
1/17/19 – Introduced; referred to Public Health and Human Services Committee.
2/13/19 – Passed the House by an 81-36 vote.