House advances 20-week abortion ban

djournal-state-news-mississippiBy Emily Wagster Pettus

Associated Press

JACKSON – The Mississippi House has voted to ban abortion after 20 weeks, the midpoint of a full-term pregnancy.

The House passed House Bill 1400 on an 89-22 vote Thursday. The bill moves to the Senate for more work.

Exceptions would be made to prevent permanent physical damage or death of the pregnant woman, or in cases of several fetal abnormalities. The House rejected a proposal to make exceptions for pregnancies caused by rape or incest.

Health Department statistics show 2,176 abortions were done in Mississippi in 2012. Two were listed at 21 weeks or later, and 382 were listed as unknown gestational age.

Diane Derzis, who owns Mississippi’s only abortion clinic, says the proposed change wouldn’t affect the facility, which she says stops doing abortions after 16 weeks.