Gov. Barbour signs bill banning public funding for most abortions
JACKSON, Mississippi: On Monday Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour signed into law a bill banning public funding for most abortions under health exchanges created by new federal health care provisions. He declared, "Mississippi continues to be the safest place to be an unborn child in America today." The bill, SB 3214, is the second Mississippi bill to restrict the use of public funds for abortions. A 2002 state law bans the use of federal, state, or local tax dollars for abortions. Exceptions are allowed when the mother's life is in danger, if the pregnancy was caused by rape or incest, or if a fetal malformation would clearly result in a miscarriage or stillbirth.
Opponents of the new bill argue that it is just a way to pander to conservatives, while supporters say they want to clarify that no public funds will be used for abortions after all of the provisions of the federal healthcare package become law by 2014. The federal overhaul allows health plans that cover abortions, but require that people pay for those plans with their own money.