By Reis Thebault
Mississippi’s governor has signed into law one of the strictest abortion bans in the country, making it even more difficult for women to get abortions in a state where only one clinic still operates.
The bill, set to take effect in July, bans abortions after a doctor can detect a fetal heartbeat during an ultrasound, unless the mother’s health is at extreme risk. Heartbeats can be heard just six weeks after conception — before some women even know they are pregnant.
Mississippi’s new restrictions are part of a reinvigorated nationwide effort to limit access to abortion, propelled by Republican-dominated state legislatures and an increasingly conservative Supreme Court. This year alone, at least 11 states have introduced “heartbeat bills,” including Texas, Florida, Georgia, Ohio and Missouri — some of the country’s most populous states.
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