By Dave Andrusko
WJTV reported today that the Life Equality Act has passed the Mississippi Senate 33-11 and will be on its way to Governor Tate Reeves after the House, where it originated, finalizes its concurrence.
“This bill would prevent an abortion for the reasons of race, gender or genetic abnormality unless there is a medical emergency,” Sarah Ulmer reported. “The bill contains practice and civil penalties for the physician that breaks the law and performs one of these types of abortions.”
Senator Joey Fillingane answered a number of questions about the bill on the floor of the Senate today.
“We are simply saying all these rights that have been won over the years in the area of racism or sexism should be applied to the unborn in Mississippi,” said Fillingane.
Fillingane said Attorney General Lynn Fitch is supportive of the legislation. Her office would handle the cases against doctors who violate the statutes that this bill puts in place.
There would be no legal penalties on the woman who seeks an abortion because of the race, sex or genetic abnormality of her baby.
As of February, reported Emily Wagster of the Associated Press,
nine states have banned abortion based on the sex, two have banned it based on race and two have banned it when the fetus might have a genetic anomaly, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a research group that supports abortion rights.
Missouri is the only state that has banned all three. Kentucky’s ban on all three reasons has been put on hold by court order.
Freda M. Bush, M.D., a retired physician from Jackson, Mississippi, made an eloquent case for the Life Equality Act in an op-ed that appeared earlier this month in the Clarion Ledger.
Dr. Bush began
In my 30-year career as an Ob/Gyn, I have delivered countless babies and dedicated my life to providing quality health care for women. As a doctor and an African American woman, I have always sought to treat every patient with respect for her inherent dignity and to partner with other doctors who share that approach.
Discrimination simply doesn’t belong in the practice of medicine.
Tragically, one place where discrimination is still widespread is inside the womb, where babies can be targeted for abortion for reasons our society wouldn’t accept anywhere else.
Dr. Bush concluded
Our medical community is ready to welcome diverse members of society. Our code of ethics as doctors compels us to serve each individual with equal inherent value.
We call on the Legislature to pass House Bill 1295, the Life Equality Act. It has passed the state House with flying colors. We need the state Senate to reflect the position of the majority of Mississippians and ban discrimination abortion, because the differences that make us unique can never diminish the value of our lives.