That typically takes place around six weeks after conception.
The law is one of the strictest in the nation and has Mississippi joining an increasing number of states considering similar restrictions on abortion.
Reeves signed the bill, Senate Bill 2116 (pdf), into law with a host of supporters gathered around him. “This is a very important day in the history of Mississippi,” Reeves told reporters after the bill’s passage. “There was a lot of pressure from a lot of groups from primarily outside our state on these members of the legislature, but every one of them stood strong.”
He said the goal is to make “Mississippi the safest place in America for an unborn child.”
Unlike some “heartbeat” bills, the law does not include exceptions for pregnancies caused by rape or incest.
But it does contain exceptions if a doctor says continuing a pregnancy would endanger a woman’s life or one of her major bodily functions.
“No person shall knowingly perform an abortion on a pregnant woman with the specific intent of causing or abetting the termination of the life of the unborn human individual that the pregnant woman is carrying and whose fetal heartbeat has been detected,” lawmakers wrote in the legislation.
“Any person who performs a medical procedure [after the heartbeat is detected] … shall declare in writing, under penalty of perjury, that the medical procedure was necessary, to the best of that person’s reasonable medical judgment, to prevent the death of the pregnant woman or to prevent a serious risk of the substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function of the pregnant woman,” the bill stated.
Any physician that violates the new law faces license revocation or disciplinary action.
It’s set to take effect on July 1.
Judge Blocks Kentucky Law
A federal judge blocked a Kentucky law shortly after it was signed into law that would have stopped women from getting abortions on the basis of sex, race, or disability of the unborn baby.
House Bill 5 was passed by the state Senate 32-4 earlier in March after the House passed it 67-25 in late February. It was signed by Gov. Matt Bevin on March 19.
U.S. District Judge David Hale ordered Kentucky not to enforce the law on March 20. MORE