Mississippi State Right to Life President Barbara Whitehead called the compromise a "good bill" in a newsletter earlier this month. Another anti-abortion activist, Terri Herring of Madison, has said the changes leave the bill too watered down.
Mississippi State Medical Association President Dr. Steve Demetropolous of Pascagoula said the new language his association helped work out was an improvement.
"The original bill filed was misleading, misinformed, unclear, and overly intrusive into the physician-patient relationship," Demetropoulos said in a statement. "However, MSMA supports the intent of protecting patients; therefore, we worked closely with Senate and House public health members to revise and strengthen the bill to accomplish its goals without causing unintended consequences for good doctors practicing good medicine."
The bill still makes it a misdemeanor to "intentionally, knowingly or recklessly" violate the act. Doctors had been strongly against criminalizing such behavior.
"Of course, physicians prefer that the practice of medicine remain in the hands of trained and educated doctors instead of government," Demetropoulos said.
The GOP-controlled Legislature passed a law last year that requires anyone doing abortions to be an OB-GYN with privileges to admit patients to the hospital. The state's lone abortion clinic said last month it had received notice that the state health department intends to revoke its operating license, though it is not expected to close anytime soon.
Senate Bill 2795: http://bit.ly/110Ho3G
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