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Not For Genetic Abnormalities

The Mississippi legislature is seeking to prohibit abortions sought due to genetic abormalities, the Associated Press reports.

According to the AP, a Mississippi State House committee passed a measure earlier this week that would bar abortions on the basis of race, sex, or genetic abnormality of the fetus. Under the proposed bill, House Bill 1295, anyone performing abortions for those reasons could face up to 10 years in prison, though the women seeking them would not face prosecution.

"We have had a solid record of supporting pro-life measures, and we wanted to continue that," House Judiciary B Committee Chair Nick Bain, a Republican, tells the AP.

The AP adds that Mississippi prohibits abortions after 20 weeks. Representative Sonya Williams-Barnes, a Democrat who voted against the bill, notes that women may not know at that point whether potential genetic abnormalities are present. "My concern is, you make the woman have the child that has these deficiencies, but yet are you going to give her any medical aid or home care assistance for the child?" she adds.

Two other states — Missouri and North Dakota — have already banned abortions due to genetic abnormalities, the AP notes.