UPDATE: This bill was signed into law by Governor Phil Bryant. I attended a teen pregnancy prevention task force summit last week and this bill was championed as one of the gov’s signature piece of legislation. Here is a link to the final language of the bill as sent to the governor.
I don’t think I have seen anything like this yet (except of course when Mississippi tried it last year). In the war on women this appears to be a relatively new one. It attacks women on so many levels it is hard to wrap my head around:1. Further criminalizing abortion in a state that is poised to close it last abortion clinic 2. Shames teen mothers 3. Teen mom is damned if she does damned if she don’t – there is tissue seizure in both the case of abortion and live birth.
The paternalistic HB 151 was introduced last week by Mississippi Representative Gipson. Gipson is also the person who introduced personhood both the first time and now in 2013.
Here is what HB 151 proposes:
Any physician or midwife who delivers a baby of a minor who is under sixteen (16) years of age or performs an abortion on a minor who is less than fourteen (14) years of age at the time of the abortion procedure shall preserve fetal tissue extracted during the abortion in accordance with rules and regulations adopted pursuant to this section if it would be reasonable to suspect that the pregnancy being terminated is the result of a sex crime against a minor or shall preserve umbilical cord blood in order to determine paternity and if it would be reasonable to suspect that the pregnancy resulted from a sex crime against a minor. It shall be reasonable to suspect that a sex crime against a minor has occurred if the mother of the baby was less than sixteen (16) years of age at the time of conception and the mother of the baby does not name the father of the baby or lists the father of the baby as unknown or the person named as the father of the baby disputes his fatherhood or if the person listed as the father is twenty-one (21) years of age or older or if the person named as the father is deceased.
Please read the full text here.
What part of the Constitution allows for this? Um, none I imagine. But since the language of the bill includes talk of sex crimes – when Democrats and thinking Republicans cry foul – the far right can say those who oppose the bill are soft on rape. This is certainly the tack they will take.
Here’s the thing – if it goes through the Senate, it will likely die because the chairperson is a democrat in the subcommittee. But, if not…this could have legs.
This is like the bills that Wisconsin tried to introduce last year about abortion coercion. Who gets to determine what coercion is? What constitute’s coercion – in one person’s view over another? Similarly this bill supposes every teen 16 or under was raped or molested and allows for no interpretation. Across the board this procedure would be done without permission, veiled as in some way protecting teens.
From the law:
(ii) When a minor who is under sixteen (16) years of age gives birth to an infant, umbilical cord blood shall be collected, if possible, in accordance with rules and regulations adopted pursuant to this section if it would be reasonable to suspect that the minor’s pregnancy resulted from a sex crime against a minor.
(iii) It shall be reasonable to suspect that a sex crime against a minor has occurred if the mother of an infant was less than sixteen (16) years of age at the time of conception and at least one (1) of the following conditions also applies:
1. The mother of the infant will not identify the father of the infant;
2. The mother of the infant lists the father of the infant as unknown;
3. The person the mother identifies as the father of the infant disputes his fatherhood;
4. The person the mother identifies as the father of the infant is twenty-one (21) years of age or older; or
5. The person the mother identifies as the father is deceased.
FEEL LIKE CALLING THE GOVERNOR? Ask for Mick: