May 3, 2012 — Mississippi lawmakers have approved a bill (HB 16) that would increase requirements for reporting suspected sexual abuse of minors and mandate that abortion providers preserve a fetal tissue sample if an abortion is performed on a girl younger than age 14, the AP/KNOE reports. The measure now heads to Gov. Phil Bryant (R), who has said he will sign it.
The fetal tissue samples would be used in DNA tests to determine if the pregnancy was the result of statutory rape, according to the AP/KNOE. The bill also would require that health care providers, clergy, educators, child care providers, law enforcement officers and commercial photo processors report any suspected sexual abuse of minors.
The bill does not include an earlier proposal that would have allowed lawsuits against any person found to have helped a minor obtain abortion care by violating the state's parental consent law (AP/KNOE, 5/1).
Repro Health Watch — an exciting new edition of the Women’s Health Policy Report — compiles and distributes media coverage of proposed and enacted state laws and ballot initiatives affecting women's access to comprehensive reproductive health care, as well as litigation in response to those provisions.