Advocates rally at State Capitol in opposition of fetal heartbeat bill

Abortion rally

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) -Mississippi is one of several states considering a fetal heartbeat bill. It would ban abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected. But a group gathered Thursday to say they want the bill killed.

The advocates are calling on lawmakers to stop trying to further restrict their options. It was just last year that the state passed the most restrictive abortion law in the country. That 15 week ban was ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge. The state is appealing that decision. Now, a more restrictive ban is being proposed.

“We have allowed the right to demonize a medical procedure, abortion," said Derenda Hancock with the Pink House Defenders. "Not only do you have to get your boots on the ground. It’s come to the point, you guys, that we need to get our tanks in the streets.”

“Not everyone just goes along with the rest of the views on abortion here in this state," said Planned Parenthood Southeast Advocates volunteer Daniella Dismuke-Rojes. "I am opposed to the whole bill. I think women need the right to choose. Government needs to stay out of my uterus and out of my body. And we should be able to decide what we do.”

Debates in the House and Senate have included questions about the likely legal challenge. Supporters say it’s worth the price of another court case.

“I think it’s incumbent upon us to do what we believe is in the best interest of the children born and unborn in the state of Mississippi and that’s what I’m trying to present this bill to do,” said Sen. Joey Fillingane when the bill was presented in committee earlier this session.

But other lawmakers argue the bill won’t accomplish that goal.

“This law will serve as a death sentence for the women of this state," said Rep. John Faulkner. "We know that banning abortion does not eliminate abortion. It just makes it less safe and puts pregnant women and their families at risk.”

The advocates are planning to deliver “report cards” to each lawmaker based on how they’ve voted on issues of women’s reproductive rights.

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