Fetal heartbeat bill killed by Miss. Senate chair

A Mississippi Senate chairman on Thursday killed a bill that could have led to a homicide criminal prosecution for anyone performing an abortion once a fetal heartbeat is found.

Senate Judiciary B Committee Chairman Hob Bryan, D-Amory, said the bill is unconstitutional because 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.

“I have always voted for and supported every restriction on abortion that was constitutional,” Bryan said in an interview. “However, this is clearly not constitutional, and it would serve us no purpose to pass it.”