Mississippi House Committee approves a ban on abortions on basis of sex, race, or fetal anomaly

By Dave Andrusko

Mississippi State Rep. Nick Bain

On Tuesday, the Mississippi House Judiciary B Committee approved House Bill 1295, the Life Equality Act of 2020, a bill that would prohibit an abortion if the woman is seeking one “because of the race, sex, or genetic abnormality “ of the baby, Emily Wagster Pettus of The Associated Press (AP) reported.”House Bill 1295 moves to the full House for more debate,” she added.

In explaining why his committee passed the bill, Chairman Nick Bain said, “We have had a solid record of supporting pro-life measures, and we wanted to continue that.”

The measure has enforcement teeth. Anyone who performs an abortion because of any of these three reasons “could face one year to 10 years in prison,” Pettus wrote. However, as these laws always provide, “The woman having the abortion would not face penalties.”

The bill reads, “It is the intent of the Mississippi Legislature … to prohibit the practice of nontherapeutic or elective abortion for the purpose of terminating the life of an unborn human being because of that human being’s race, sex, or the presence or presumed presence of a genetic abnormality,” the Catholic News Service (CNA)reported.

The CNA went on to explain

The bill’s findings quote extensively from Justice Thomas’ concurring opinion in Box v. Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky, Inc., in which he wrote at length about a similar Indiana law which he said promotes “a State’s compelling interest in preventing abortion from becoming a tool of modern-day eugenics.”

“The United States Supreme Court has been ‘zealous in vindicating the rights of people even potentially subjected to race, sex, and disability discrimination,’” HB 1295 states, quoting Thomas’ opinion.

“The inherent right against discrimination on the basis of race, sex, or genetic abnormality is protected in federal and state laws,” the bill notes, adding that “Notwithstanding these protections, unborn human beings are often discriminated against and deprived of life.”

Thirteen states have either passed a similar bill or portions of the bill introduced in Mississippi, according to the Catholic News Service. “Nine states have banned abortions based on sex, two states have prohibited the procedure based on race, and two states have outlawed abortions on the basis of fetal abnormalities.”