Also Says ‘Personhood’ Amendment Passed by House Threatens Women’s Health
NEW YORK–(ENEWSPF)–April 17, 2012. Planned Parenthood Federation of America and leading women’s health supporters in Mississippi and around the nation today condemned Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant for signing a law that will effectively ban abortion in the state and threaten women’s ability to access comprehensive reproductive health care services. Governor Bryant, a longtime opponent of women’s health, acknowledged the bill was intended to “make Mississippi abortion-free” and Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves said outright, the law “will effectively end abortion in Mississippi.”
“Make no mistake, this law is based on a political agenda, not medical necessity,” said Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “In yet another shortsighted attempt to ban abortion in Mississippi, Governor Bryant and lawmakers are putting their ideology above the health and safety of Mississippi women. This law is bad policy and endangers women’s health.”
As the Associated Press reports, all of the physicians who provide abortion at Mississippi’s only provider are board certified ob/gyns dedicated to providing Mississippi women with high-quality, compassionate reproductive health care. Because only one of their physicians has admitting privileges at a local hospital, this bill could shut down Mississippi’s only provider of abortion care, forcing women to travel long distances or jeopardize their own health.
In addition to the abortion law signed by Bryant today, on Tuesday the House passed a backdoor “personhood” amendment to a bill intended to protect Mississippi children. If enacted, the amended bill could outlaw birth control, infertility treatments and all abortions — no exceptions. After passing the House, Senate Bill 2771 is now in the Senate for a concurrence vote.
Both bills, which could end access to safe and legal abortions in the state, ignore the will of Mississippi voters, who just last fall soundly defeated Initiative 26, the so-called “personhood amendment,” by 16 points.
“Mississippi voters rejected ‘personhood’ at the ballot box because they did not want to see the government involved in personal decisions that are best left up to a woman in consultation with her family, her doctor, and her faith. Now, politicians are again trying to reach into complex personal decisions with a bill that could have very broad consequences for women’s health,” Richards said.
Reproductive health care services are among the safest and mostly commonly sought forms of care in the United States, and health centers that specialize in reproductive care are already among the nation’s most rigorously regulated and scrutinized health care providers.
Under current Mississippi law, regulations are already in place to uphold patient health and safety for all medical practices, including abortion providers. Furthermore, abortion providers in Mississippi are currently subject to a host of additional restrictions on their facilities, staff, and administration.
Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading sexual and reproductive health care provider and advocate. We believe that everyone has the right to choose when or whether to have a child, and that every child should be wanted and loved. Planned Parenthood affiliates operate nearly 800 health centers nationwide, providing medical services and sexuality education for millions of women, men, and teenagers each year. We also work with allies worldwide to ensure that all women and men have the right and the means to meet their sexual and reproductive health care needs.