One of the clinic's four physicians has admitting privileges, but the clinic said he does little work at the clinic and he had the privileges before the new law took effect. The other three don't have privileges.
House Bill 6, filed this year by Republican Andy Gipson of Braxton, would prohibit abortion if there's a fetal heartbeat, except in cases of medical emergencies. It says a person who intends to perform an abortion on a woman would use "standard medical practice" to determine if the heartbeat exists.
The bill awaits consideration in House Judiciary B Committee, where Gipson is chairman.
Gipson filed a similar bill in 2012, and it died when the Senate Judiciary B Committee chairman, Democrat Hob Bryan of Amory, didn't bring it up for a vote. Bryan said it was unconstitutional because state lawmakers are limited in what they can do to restrict abortions in the first trimester of pregnancy under Roe v. Wade, the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that established a nationwide right to abortion.
After Bryan killed Gipson's first "heartbeat" bill in 2012, Gipson persuaded the House to add the provisions to a separate bill dealing with homicides of children. If that bill had become law, it could have led to a homicide criminal prosecution for anyone performing an abortion once a fetal heartbeat is found. Bryan also killed that bill, citing the same reasons.
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