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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Mississippi abortion ban bill fails as legislators miss deadline for compromise
Krystal MacIntyre at 12:18 PM ET

[JURIST] The Mississippi Legislature [official website] failed to reach a compromise on an abortion ban bill [text] before a Monday night deadline, preventing it from becoming law during the current legislative session. The proposed bill would have prohibited most abortions in the state, making exceptions only for victims of rape or incest, or to save the woman's life; Governor Haley Barbour [official site] had already promised to sign it [LifeNews.com report]. The bill was approved [JURIST report] earlier this month by the House Public Health Committee [list of committee members here], but the Senate wanted to include language that would protect the state's existing informed consent law if the abortion ban were ever challenged in court. The Senate also wanted to require doctors to perform an ultrasound before an abortion, but dropped this request after meeting opposition from the House.

Ten minutes before the deadline, House Public Health Committee Chairman D. Stephen Holland [official site] presented a House proposal to prevent the bill from taking effect until and unless the US Supreme Court [official website] overturned its landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade [text] ruling. The Senate refused to sign the bill, and the House refused to sign the Senate proposal. AP has more.

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