Mississippi GOP Passes Anti-Abortion Bill With Heartbeat, Transvaginal Ultrasounds, Personhood, And Anti-Contraception Measures

Mississippi Republicans are once again waging war against women. The anti-abortion forces in Mississippi won passage of a bill in the state House on Wednesday that would effectively ban abortions after the detection of a fetal heartbeat, which is after approximately six weeks of pregnancy, and defines life as beginning at conception, which would ban many forms of contraception. The bill may also require doctors to use transvaginal ultrasounds. It’s basically a four-in-one abortion bill.

The Hattiesburg American reports, “A key provision would require doctors to search for a fetal heartbeat before performing an abortion and, if a heartbeat is found, would make going ahead with the procedure illegal. Physicians say a heartbeat can typically be detected at five to six weeks of pregnancy, with the possibility of hearing it earlier if the doctor uses a medically invasive transvaginal ultrasound.”

Women who need emergency abortions would be exempted and women who can prove they were raped would also be exempted. But the bill does much more than banning abortion after six weeks. It also doubles as a personhood measure, defining an “unborn human individual” as “an individual organism of the species Homo sapiens from fertilization until live birth.” In other words, Republicans are once again trying to define life as beginning at conception so that they can ban abortion entirely at a later date. Such a measure would ban some forms of contraception. This bill is merely the first step.

This bill forces women to carry unwanted pregnancies to term, which is a violation of privacy and personal liberty. And the bill forces women who are raped to prove that they were indeed raped. So what happens if the women is denied because a Republican doesn’t believe her or the police report? In the past couple years, Republicans have made an effort to redefine rape and refer to women as accusers instead of as victims. It would be only too easy to deny this particular exemption. But that’s not all. Women also may have to be raped by the state in order to get an abortion. In order to determine if a fetal heartbeat is occurring earlier than six weeks, a doctor would have no other choice but to perform a transvaginal ultrasound, which is state sanctioned rape, thus humiliating women. According to the Hattiesburg American,

“Under the Mississippi bill, the State Board of Health would determine the method doctors use to search for the heartbeat, but it is possible that women who are fewer than six weeks pregnant would be required to undergo the medically invasive transvaginal ultrasound.”

Mississippi isn’t the only state that has considered or is considering state sanctioned rape. Pennsylvania, Virginia, and others have also considered forcing women to have the procedure.

So this anti-abortion bill is actually composed of multiple bills at once. The bill would ban abortion after six weeks which violates Roe v. Wade. It would forces women to prove they have been raped. It would force women to be raped by the state. And it would define life as beginning at conception, a concept Mississippi voters overwhelmingly defeated last fall. This bill clearly seeks to force something into law that the people recently rejected, and would continue the GOP war against birth control. This is one of the most outrageous anti-women bills I have ever heard of and if the Senate has a shred of reason and any respect for women it will kill this bill.