Guest Author - Suzanne Gregory
Just when I thought Texas had the harshest and cruelest of anti abortion laws, Mississippi steps up to the plate to claim the title. The bill has passed in the Mississippi House and heads for the Senate to ban abortion after six weeks of pregnancy.
If passed the bill would require doctors to search for a fetal heartbeat before performing an abortion. If a fetal heartbeat is detected it would make performing an abortion illegal. Fetal heartbeats can be detected at five to six weeks of pregnancy. In some cases it is possible to detect the heartbeat earlier through a more invasive internal ultrasound.
The bill could ban ninety percent of abortions in the state. It would allow exemptions if the woman's life is at risk or no fetal heartbeat can be found. Exemptions would also be made for those women who could prove that their pregnancy is a result of rape or incest.
Clearly, the supporters of this bill have never been pregnant. To even test positive for pregnancy you have to have a high enough level of the pregnancy hormone HCG. It takes several weeks for that hormone to build and create a positive test. Most home pregnancy tests cannot detect the pregnancy hormone until you have missed a period. That would mean the earliest most women would be aware they are pregnant is roughly four weeks. That leaves a two week window for women in Mississippi who would be considering an abortion.
Itís ludicrous to think that is enough time to make a life changing decision.
As for the provision in the bill to exempt women in cases of rape or incest, it is flawed as well. More often than not women donít report being raped. Most never go to the police or file a police report, out of fear or shame.
This bill wonít reduce abortions. Like most of the other anti abortion legislation, it only makes abortion dangerous. Countless Mississippi women will choose unsafe and illegal abortions in desperation.
All this bill does is legally circumvent Roe vs. Wade. Itís not okay for government to tell us what to do with our bodies, and it is not okay for them to use shady tactics to avoid breaking the law.
I hope for the sake of the women of Mississippi and the women of the United States, that this bill is thrown out. Something has to happen to protect the rights and health of women, and so far I am not satisfied that anything has been done.