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Girl Talk: Mississippi passes the most restrictive abortion act in the nation

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Mississippi has historically been one of America’s most conservative states. In fact, according to Gallup, an American research company, Mississippi was ranked the third most conservative state within the United States in 2016. As a result of the political majority within the state, most laws support republican ideologies.

On March 8, 2018, Mississippi lawmakers passed a “Gestational Age Act” that restricts abortions from occurring 15 weeks after the woman’s last menstrual cycle. A 2016 Supreme Court case, Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, determined that states may not ban abortions before they are deemed viable outside of the womb. Fetuses are generally deemed viable between 24 and 26 weeks.

Additionally, Mississippi’s new law offers absolutely no exceptions for abortions under the condition of rape or incest. However, it does offer exceptions for ‘medical emergencies’ or ‘severe fetal abnormality’. Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant signed the bill into action and took to Twitter to state, “As I have repeatedly said, I want Mississippi to be the safest place in America for an unborn child. House Bill 1510 will help us achieve that goal.”

Despite Governor Bryant’s ambitions, it has been statistically proven that restricting access to abortions and enforcing strict abortion laws doesn’t necessarily ensure ‘the safest place in America for the unborn child’. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, 42 million women with unintended pregnancies choose abortion annually. 20 million of those abortions are deemed unsafe.

The U.S. National Library of Medicine and many national institutions of health emphasize the two primary methods that have successfully reduced unsafe abortions are less restrictive abortion laws and greater contraceptive usage. Enforcing such harsh and conservative laws such as Mississippi’s “Gestational Age Act” is not going to suddenly prevent women from seeking abortions.

In the state of Mississippi, there is only one abortion center serving their population of almost three million people. Abortions are already hard to receive, so a law the further restricts access to safe abortions will not prevent harming of the unborn child. This restrictive piece of legislation will not satisfy Governor Bryant’s goal of making “Mississippi the safest place in America for an unborn child”.

If Governor Bryant wants to improve maternal health and safe abortions within the state of Mississippi, the desired improvements need to occur within the culture that surrounds abortions rather than the legal system. Sex education should be taught in school curriculums with more medically accurate information, more abortion clinics should be opened within the state, and more alterations need to be made to already restrictive laws regarding exceptions for abortions. Only after all women who seek abortions are receiving safe abortions will there even be the slightest possibility for Mississippi to be the safest place for the unborn child.

About the Writer
Abbey Malbon, Spotlight Reporter

Abbey Malbon is in 11th grade and is a spotlight writer. She is involved with Literary Magazine, Best Buddies and Fresh Connect. She spends her free time watching That 70’s show reruns and writing emo poems.

37 Comments

37 Responses to “Girl Talk: Mississippi passes the most restrictive abortion act in the nation”

  1. Voice Of the Aristocracy on April 5th, 2018 8:54 am

    See here’s a simple solution that doesn’t involve completely changing state legislation….
    DON’T GET PREGNANT IF YOU DONT WANT A KID.
    there are such things called contraceptives that actually prevent pregnancies.
    And I already hear the opposition now “Well what about rape huh?”
    well, wait. Whats this? Mississippi has one of the lowest rape rates in the country? With less than one percent of women getting pregnant because of it? That’s crazy. So at that point, the only need for abortion in this state would be for pregnancies that were caused by negligence.

    Whats next? Are we gonna want the government to pay for abortion? (Specifically the rich)? because that seems to be the dark path we’re headed down.

  2. lembergini on April 5th, 2018 1:48 pm

    As long as rape is a possibility, abortion should be around for the people, however small in population, who need it.

  3. James Sefton on April 5th, 2018 2:24 pm

    So let’s take a look at what you said. “DON’T GET PREGNANT IF YOU DONT WANT A KID.
    there are such things called contraceptives that actually prevent pregnancies.” Well, yeah. That is, by definition, a good idea. And if it wasn’t for the terrible sex education that Mississippi high schoolers receive, then maybe it wouldn’t happen so often. Oh, by the way, it’s the same legislatures that want stricter abortion laws that also contribute to the embarrassingly bad education they get. This probably also explains why Mississippi has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the country, at 50 girls per 1000. And if you are advocating for teens to be forced to raise kids that young, you probably shouldn’t be talking about having kids anytime soon. Moving on, “Whats this? Mississippi has one of the lowest rape rates in the country? With less than one percent of women getting pregnant because of it?” This is just blatant, what do you call it, fake news? According to statista.com, Mississippi has the 21st highest rape rate in the country, at 42.7 women per every 100000. Not only that, a study conducted by the Medical University of South Carolina found that rapes have a 5% pregnancy rate, not less than 1%. If you’re counting, that makes about 1274 reported rapes per year in the state, resulting in over 60 pregnancies. And you may say that 60 pregnancies is almost nothing, but don’t forget that as of 2014, there were only 2 abortion providing locations in the whole state, only 1 of which was an actual abortion clinic. So don’t think that women in this state are getting abortions left and right.On the topic of reported rapes, lets not forget that in Mississippi law, a lack of chastity may be a defense to rape, meaning that if someone can show that the person who they raped had had sex in the past, then they can use that as a defense. So it is very likely that lots of rapes either went unreported because of the embarrassment of your personal sex life entering the courtroom, or they were basically ignored since they weren’t “pure”. Just so you know, someone who has a lot of consensual sex can still be raped. Continuing on, “Whats next? Are we gonna want the government to pay for abortion?” If you mean like the rest of the first world pays for possibly life-saving medical procedures, because they care about all of their population and not just those wealthy enough to be able to pay for their life, then yes. The idea that someone should have to put their health and the health of their family at risk because they don’t have enough money for it is absurd, and makes the US seem barbaric when compared to the rest of the first world. And here are the sources I used if you want to check them.

    https://www.guttmacher.org/fact-sheet/state-facts-about-abortion-mississippi
    https://www.statista.com/statistics/232563/forcible-rape-rate-in-the-us-by-state/
    http://statelaws.findlaw.com/mississippi-law/mississippi-rape-and-sexual-assault-laws.html
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8765248

  4. Voice Of the Aristocracy on April 6th, 2018 8:22 am

    Finally someone I can have a civilized argument with! I haven’t had something like that since the “Pink Tax” Article. But anyway back to the point. How educated does someone have to be to not do something illegal as a teenager? It is quite literally illegal. And if a Foolish teen couple decide to preform such acts then they must be prepared to accept the consequences. secondly I feel that when you say “The rest of the first world” You mean ” The rest of the Liberal Democratic first world.” Because through out my travels people seem to agree with my mentalities. thirdly The rest of us shouldn’t have to pay for poorly thought through actions. Especially not the rich. Because it seems the democratic solution to everything is to tax the rich more then they already are (37% of their income) just because others don’t want to pay for things themselvs

  5. James Sefton on April 6th, 2018 2:19 pm

    Firstly, I appreciate how civilized you are being about this. However, I still see lots of issues with your argument. First and foremost, “How educated does someone have to be to not do something illegal as a teenager? It is quite literally illegal.” This is false. Under Mississippi law, they have what is called a “close-in-age exemption” clause, meaning that if two underage people have sex, neither can be charged. This also holds true if one person is just above the age of consent, and another is just below. In essence, it is to stop teens from being prosecuted for having consensual sex. So no, it is not illegal. “if a Foolish teen couple decide to preform such acts then they must be prepared to accept the consequences.” There is a reason that we charge and prosecute minors in a different way from adults. Is that system perfect? No. But it shows that we should not treat the mistakes of teens the same way that we treat adults. Their brains are still developing and ruining their entire life is not going to make them “accept the consequences.” If you’ve ever had a pregnancy scare, I’m sure that you would know that it is more than enough to teach them about consequences. “I feel that when you say “The rest of the first world” You mean ” The rest of the Liberal Democratic first world.” Actually, I mean Norway, New Zealand, Japan, Germany, Belgium, United Kingdom, Kuwait, Sweden, Bahrain, Brunei, Canada, Netherlands, Austria, United Arab Emirates, Finland, Slovenia, Denmark, Luxembourg, France, Australia, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Cyprus, Greece, Spain, South Korea, Iceland, Hong Kong, Singapore, Switzerland, and Israel. So, I suppose that considering this list includes United Kingdom, with a conservative Prime Minister, Germany, with a center-right Chancellor, and Austria, with a conservative Prime Minister, then this is not just ”The rest of the Liberal Democratic first world.” Next, “thirdly The rest of us shouldn’t have to pay for poorly thought through actions.” This is literally what the government does consistently. In 2008 when banks were going bankrupt, it was the government that bailed them out. Not to mention that as a result of their dangerous behavior, only a single banker went to jail. Talk about “accept[ing] the consequences.” Let’s also not forget the Great Depression as well as the savings and loan bailout of 1989. Oh, also how the government can grant people and businesses bankruptcy status, which if that doesn’t show how “the rest of us… have to pay for poorly thought out actions,” then I don’t know what does. About your last point, I’m not purposely ignoring it. I will argue with you some other time about this but I want to stay on topic here, and arguing about the tax system for our billionaires will stray us way off topic for a debate about abortion. As usual, sources below.

    https://www.ageofconsent.net/states/mississippi
    https://truecostblog.com/2009/08/09/countries-with-universal-healthcare-by-date/
    https://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/04/magazine/only-one-top-banker-jail-financial-crisis.html
    https://www.thebalance.com/what-was-the-bank-bailout-bill-3305675

  6. darkstripe on April 6th, 2018 8:39 am

    ^ this is currently the best post in this whole comment section

  7. Voice Of the Aristocracy on April 9th, 2018 1:24 pm

    James Sefton have you traveled to those countries? Because i have been to quite a few of them and those are very liberal countries for the most part. Also under Mississippi legislation they may not be convicted but its still illegal. quite similar to the cocaine overdose law of Illinois that states if the police find a man overdosing on cocaine then they cant arrest them after they save their life. Also you need banks more then you need abortion sooooo

    P.S you are also an extremely honorable opponent so i just wanna say these arguments are nothing personal.

  8. James Sefton on April 11th, 2018 1:31 pm

    This is a reply to your last comment, since there is a reply limit for some reason. Ok so “James Sefton have you traveled to those countries?” Yes. I’m actually a UK citizen so I’m there quite a bit, and I’ve also been to France, Germany, and Canada. The fact that you think that those countries are liberal is kind of missing my point, because I would agree with you. Let’s take the UK for example, since I’m the most familiar with it and it’s likely the most similar to the US. Most people would consider the UK more liberal than the US, despite the fact that they voted leave on Brexit and elected a conservative Prime Minister. Why is it, then, that we consider them liberal? It’s because the US is still debating topics like abortion, that the rest of these countries figured out a long time ago. This makes Americans have an incredibly skewed perception of political views. What America calls liberal, the rest of the first world calls moderate. What America calls conservative is what the rest of the world calls extremist. This is why when you claim that I mean ”The rest of the Liberal Democratic first world” it’s really just that the rest of the first world is liberal compared to the US. So even countries that have conservative governments don’t have issues with things like universal healthcare or abortions. Also, “Also under Mississippi legislation they may not be convicted but its still illegal. quite similar to the cocaine overdose law of Illinois that states if the police find a man overdosing on cocaine then they cant arrest them after they save their life.” I don’t think you read my source, or my comment, so I will repeat myself. It is not illegal for 2 people who are close in age, even if one or both are under the age of consent, to have sex in Mississippi. It’s not that they won’t be convicted of statutory rape, it’s that they have not committed any crimes. And the parallel you drew made almost no sense since those two laws are not only unrelated but also under different jurisdictions. Lastly, “Also you need banks more then you need abortion sooooo.” Well, yeah. I do. I’m a male, so I doubt I’m gonna be getting pregnant anytime soon. For others, however, this is not the case. There are cases where the mother would be at serious risk if they brought their baby to term, killing both the mother and the baby. There are cases where it is financially impossible to care for the baby, or where the mother is unfit to be a mother, which would create a terrible life for both the mother and the child. There are plenty of cases where people needs abortions, but none where they want them. The government is paying for people’s lives, the same way other first world countries would pay for any other life saving treatment. Yet Again, Sources below.
    http://www.pewglobal.org/2017/06/26/tarnished-american-brand/
    https://www.ageofconsent.net/states/mississippi

  9. Proud Christian on April 5th, 2018 9:42 am

    Thank you God for Mississippi! At least some states (not Illinois) have a grasp on Christian beliefs!

  10. darkstripe on April 5th, 2018 1:24 pm

    troll found
    don’t feed the trolls, fellas

  11. Proud Christian on April 5th, 2018 7:54 pm

    If anyone’s a troll its you…you literally comment on every article.

  12. Proud Christian xD on April 6th, 2018 7:48 am

    Thank god for Mississippi! Shoving christian beliefs down everyone’s throats in a nation of various religions is ideal!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. darkstripe on April 6th, 2018 8:26 am

    breaking news: commenting often makes you an internet troll, more at 5

  14. прямой белый самец on April 5th, 2018 10:02 pm

    you didn’t actually refute or argued, you simply just fed into being a troll in itself. save some time and make a comment worthwhile

  15. darkstripe on April 6th, 2018 8:32 am

    well, if you want an argument with him why don’t you do it?
    arguing with the very religious is like playing chess with a pigeon. no matter how well you play and how carefully you execute your decisions, the pigeon will ruin the board, knock over the pieces, and then strut around acting as if it won.

  16. HYUUUP on April 6th, 2018 9:31 am

    The thing is there is absolutely no way to prove nor disprove god, at least as of now. The idea that delusion should influence actual lives, is simply crazy. The fact that we use an outdated book with flawed, and limited evidence in order to justify restricting reproductive rights is just insanity. Look, I have no problem if you are religious, but to paint the U.S. as a christian nation, (as the U.S. does not have a set religion), is foolish and delusional. Moreover, to influence politics or implement legislation based off of a sham is equally ridiculous as well.

  17. прямой белый самец on April 6th, 2018 11:58 am

    Darkstripe, that’s the most illogical thing I have ever heard. how can you dislike someone without knowing them? you say talking to a religious person is comparable to playing chess with a pigeon, how can you know that if you haven’t talked to every strictly religious person. never assume someone is something just because they are religious. it’s illogical, unbacked up, and is the main reason backing violence.

  18. HYUUUP on April 6th, 2018 9:31 am

    The thing is there is absolutely no way to prove nor disprove god, at least as of now. The idea that delusion should influence actual lives, is simply crazy. The fact that we use an outdated book with flawed, and limited evidence in order to justify restricting reproductive rights is just insanity. Look, I have no problem if you are religious, but to paint the U.S. as a christian nation, (as the U.S. does not have a set religion), is foolish and delusional. Moreover, to influence politics or implement legislation based off of a sham is equally ridiculous as well.

  19. Argument Analyst on April 6th, 2018 11:54 am

    Despite the fact that the state is primarily Christian, this law actually supports many other religions as well. It is noted that Christianity is not the only religion that does not support the idea of abortion. Baha’i, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Sikhism all condemn abortion to some degree. Islam is a different case, where a baby cannot be terminated after 120 days, similar to what is now in place in Mississippi. This proves that the pro-life movement is not just based in Christianity, but other religions as well.

    Source(s):
    http://www.pewforum.org/2013/01/16/religious-groups-official-positions-on-abortion/

  20. Lisa on April 5th, 2018 10:43 am

    “Fetuses are generally deemed viable between 24 and 26 months”
    Isn’t it supposed to be between 24 and 26 weeks?

  21. axiet on April 6th, 2018 11:54 am

    It’s not murder, it’s post-birth abortion. 😉

  22. Jimmy Wronski and Kyle Welsh on April 5th, 2018 10:50 am

    I believe that abortion is really good for economy in miss is sippy
    good jobabbye

  23. Epic Win my dude on April 8th, 2018 3:03 pm

    I gotta agree there, if they had more abortions then maybe they wouldn’t be such a bad place

  24. Corey Foster on April 5th, 2018 1:20 pm

    Unless you’re attempting to correlate a rise in unsafe abortions with a growing total amount of abortions provided in the US, creating more abortion clinics is doing the exact opposite of making Mississippi the safest state for an unborn child. I would like you to think for a minute on this: if people with your thought processes would consider the idea that abortion is murder, then our country is currently facilitating the largest genocide in human history. Opening more abortion clinics would mean more lives ended. Mississippi is trying to use legislature to end what its governing body has deemed a horrible thing. Considering that three moral alternatives to abortion exist (abstinence, contraceptives, and adoption), it is completely unnecessary to take an innocent human life because of someone else’s sexual permissiveness. Honestly, there’s a reason that killing a pregnant woman is, to my knowledge, considered a double homicide in every state. Opening more abortion clinics is just making it easier to kill children with nonchalance.

  25. Mr. Man on April 6th, 2018 7:44 am

    Luckily we have you, Corey, to change the world from the Metea Media comment section

  26. Caleb Berry, a proud yet concerned patriot on April 9th, 2018 7:14 am

    he’s changing more minds than you are.

  27. axiet on April 6th, 2018 7:10 am

    “it has been statistically proven that restricting access to abortions and enforcing strict abortion laws doesn’t necessarily ensure ‘the safest place in America for the unborn child’”

    Why don’t you use this same logic about gun control?

  28. Mr. Man on April 6th, 2018 7:30 am

    Abortion and Gun Control are vastly different subjects.
    You could say the same thing about people calling out people for being Pro-Life and Pro-Death penalty. They are different issues lmao.

  29. axiet on April 6th, 2018 8:46 am

    “Abortion and Gun Control are vastly different subjects.”

    I don’t disagree.

    “You could say the same thing about people calling out people for being Pro-Life and Pro-Death penalty.”

    Killing fetuses which are babies that haven’t done anything and killing a convicted criminals are different. People who are pro-choice and is anti-Death penalty are more confusing than those you stated. It is different because they don’t deserve it, but we can debate on that when the time comes.

    Back to the subject at hand, I was trying to convey is the irony of restriction and strict laws. The prohibition of alcohol in the 1920’s made crime worse. It fueled mobs and gangs.

    Clearly, if you try to ban or restrict a commodity, it will make it worse. The commodity will fall onto the illegal side.

    tl;dr
    Banning abortion will cause unsafe and illegal abortions. Banning guns will cause the rise of illegal, unregistered guns which are involved more in crime than legal guns.

    (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/07/27/new-evidence-confirms-what-gun-rights-advocates-have-been-saying-for-a-long-time-about-crime/?utm_term=.86a957ce986b)

  30. прямой белый самец on April 6th, 2018 12:23 pm

    abortion and gun control do have one big theme in common, that being the value of life. do we get rid of certain guns because of the threat they do or don’t pose? do we eliminate a fetus due to the weight it may place on the mother’s shoulders? both deal with possible death and how we could prevent it

  31. John Wick on April 6th, 2018 8:02 am

    Believe it or not, the two issues are different, making guns more difficult to get/creating more responsible and accountable gun owners has been statistically proven to lower gun violence and deaths by guns, while restricting abortion options would lead to more back alley abortions and deaths of pregnant woman due to failed induction. You can argue that the people that really want to get guns will still get their guns, illegally or legally, but increasing background check rigor has been proven to help reduce gun violence in many instances across the 1st world.

    Sources
    https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2018/03/study-the-feds-have-spent-98-4-percent-more-money-studying-sepsis-than-they-have-studying-gun-violence/
    https://www.rand.org/research/gun-policy/analysis/background-checks.html

  32. axiet on April 6th, 2018 11:51 am

    I don’t disagree but the point I was making is:

    >”Banning abortion will cause unsafe and illegal abortions. Banning guns will cause the rise of illegal, unregistered guns which are involved more in crime than legal guns.”

  33. прямой белый самец on April 6th, 2018 12:34 pm

    “statistically proven to lower gun violence and deaths by guns,” yes death in guns, but not general murders, people just resort to knives, look at China for instance. in the Kunming subway, a group of people came in and stabbed 29 people to death and injured 143 more. it may stop death by guns but will not nearly limit the total amount of deaths, therefore only disarming people incapable of their own defense and proving ineffective

  34. John Wick on April 6th, 2018 8:09 am
  35. Ew Politics on April 6th, 2018 12:31 pm

    I think this isn’t that good. I don’t think abortions should be considered murder because it would be akin to saying not having sex is murder or using condoms and contraceptives is. This is further compounded by the fact that the fetuses that are aborted would have a bad life (either due to genetic defects or poor living conditions), lowering the “value” of their life. Also, I have heard numerous times that banning abortion is ineffective because people will continue to abort, except they have to do so in more dangerous conditions; this, of course, doesn’t change any underlying moral or ethical problems with it, but, as I explained earlier in this post, I don’t think those problems are well-founded.
    Change my view?

  36. ;l on April 6th, 2018 2:13 pm

    How come every comment i filled with rage and triggered people instead of civil arguments.

  37. ;l on April 6th, 2018 2:14 pm

    The I is a typo it’s supposed to say IS

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