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A hold on the heartbeat bill

Charlie Butts   ( Wednesday, February 06, 2013

The push for a "heartbeat bill" in Mississippi is dead for this session -- but it's not due to a lack of interest.

Mississippi Representative Andy Gipson said Monday he will not seek a vote on the "Protection of the Human Person Act," which bans abortion if the heartbeat of the unborn baby can be detected. Gipson, chairman of the House Judiciary B Committee in Jackson, is the sponsor of the bill.


Terri Herring of the Mississippi-based Pro Life America Network tells OneNewsNow that the Republican lawmaker is taking the action because it is clear the measure will not pass at this time in the Senate.

"And we're going to have to establish a willingness on the part of the Senate to take up the heartbeat bill and fight," she explains.

In the previous session, the bill passed in the Mississippi House after bruising debate, but died in the Senate.

"You know, we go through hours and hours of floor fights that are very contentious, which is normal -- and I think Andy is willing and able to fight those fights," says Herring. "However, if we're going to be sent to the wrong committee in the Senate and [see the bill] die there, then that's not going to work."

Herring plans to start working with the Senate to gain more support for passage within the next legislative session. She is certain passing a heartbeat bill would lead to a court challenge -- and the current makeup of the Supreme Court is an additional factor, she notes.

Pro Life American Network also is working this year on a bill to regulate use of the abortion pill, RU-486.

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