JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi is working toward enacting one of the strictest abortion laws in the nation, in a race with other states to push a legal challenge to the more conservative U.S. Supreme Court.
The Mississippi House and Senate passed separate bills Wednesday to ban most abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected, about six weeks into pregnancy. Efforts to pass similar bills are underway in Florida, Kentucky, Ohio, South Carolina and Tennessee.
Mississippi enacted a 15-week abortion ban last year. The only abortion clinic in the state filed a lawsuit and a federal judge declared the law unconstitutional. The state has asked a federal appeals court to overturn the ruling.
The House and Senate must agree on a single version to send to Republican Gov. Phil Bryant, who says he will sign it.