Mississippi Heartbeat Ban (HB 1198)
This law was last updated on Feb 1, 2017
HB 1198 would prohibit a person from performing an abortion on a pregnant patient if a fetal heartbeat has been detected, except in the case of a medical emergency.
Fetal heartbeats can be detected as early as six weeks into a pregnancy.
The bill would require a person who intends to perform an abortion on a pregnant patient to first determine if there is the presence of a fetal heartbeat. A person who fails to first determine if a heartbeat is detected would be subject to disciplinary action.
If a fetal heartbeat is detected, no later than 24 hours before the performance of the intended abortion, both of the following would apply:
- The person intending to perform the abortion would need to inform the pregnant patient in writing that a fetal heartbeat exists and the statistical probability of bringing the “unborn human individual” to term based on the gestational age;
- The pregnant patient would need to sign a form acknowledging that they have received the information and is aware of the probability of carrying to term.
The bill would prohibit a person from knowingly performing an abortion on a pregnant patient carrying a fetus with a detectable heartbeat, unless it was necessary to prevent the death of a pregnant patient or to prevent a serious risk of the substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function of the pregnant patient.
Any person who violates this subsection would be guilty of performing an abortion after the detection of a fetal heartbeat, a violation punishable by imprisonment for up to six months and/or a fine of up to $1,000.
The bill would amend current law regarding the grounds for the nonissuance, suspension, revocation or restriction of a license or the denial of reinstatement or renewal of a license for health-care facilities to include performing an abortion on a pregnant patient before determining if there was a detectable heartbeat.
The bill would codify the dilation and evacuation abortion ban, which was signed into law in 2016.
If passed, the law would take effect on July 1, 2017.