By Alex Kerravala, Staff Writer
Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant has now signed a law that makes his state the most difficult state in the country to get an abortion. The Bill, titled the Gestational Age Act, bans abortions after fifteen weeks of gestation, except in the case of a medical emergency or a severe fetal abnormality.
Since this law, Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin has since signed off on House Bill 454, which bans a common procedure called dilation and evacuation starting at 11 weeks after fertilization, the only exception being for medical emergencies.
This is the same governor that banned abortion in Kentucky after twenty weeks, and attempted to institute an ultrasound bill requiring women to view an ultrasound of the fetus before having the abortion.
Both Governors have been outspoken against Abortion their entire time in office, so these proposals should come as no surprise, much like the backlash against the Kentucky Bill.
Generally, in the event of an Abortion, the Women’s health must always be top priority, so to restrict a process like Dilation and Evacuation, which is, according to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, “evidence-based and medically preferred,” there is no surprise there is some backlash from the courts.
Following a request by the American Civil Liberties Union, a federal judge signed a joint consent order, requiring state officials take no action to enforce the law pending a ruling on the ACLU’s request for a preliminary injunction.
Simply put, this bill, while signed in Kentucky, cannot be put into effect until after the courts decide it can be.
With a law that hinders Abortion to the point it puts a woman in greater danger than prior, I have little doubt this bill will get much farther.
There have always been attempted roadblocks to abortion since Roe V. Wade; since the Supreme Court’s decision that abortion may not be outright prohibited, the more conservative areas of this country have been testing just how restrictive they can make abortions. While the courts have passed certain restrictions, such as a 24 hour waiting period, they have also overruled a plethora of attempts, such as the ultrasound bill proposed by Gov. Bevin.
That being said, Mississippi’s law remains unchallenged, and could be paving a dangerous road can restrict the rights of a woman more than they already are.
Kentucky has already attempted to adopt Mississippi’s anti-abortion laws, and with the Mass conservative win following the 2016 election, where this will go from here remains to be seen.
Conservative legislature is certainly testing just how much they are able to get away with, as Mississippi Gov Bryant has made it his goal to end abortion in Mississippi, despite the fact that, after Roe V. Wade, that is not possible. He can attempt to restrict it, as much as possible, but after what we have seen with the Kentucky bill, any further restriction may not come to pass.
Hell, we may not even see the Mississippi last much longer. Once somebody challenges the law, and brings it to the court’s attention, the Mississippi Bill may be deemed unconstitutional.
Or, things could go the other direction; the court could potentially uphold the Kentucky law, and Abortion could become its most restricted across the country since before Roe V. Wade. With another Republican on the Supreme Court, and one that is as anti-government action as Gorsuch is, we could be in a dark period of Women’s rights.
With organizations like the ACLU, I want to believe it just isn’t so, and with midterm elections, we may see a partisan shift that could turn the tide for women’s rights in cases like this, but all of that, much like abortions being restricted more than ever before, are all speculation.