Miss. House Approves Bill Banning Abortion if Fetal Heartbeat is Detectable

March 16, 2012 — The Mississippi House on Wednesday passed a bill (HB 1196) that would require a doctor to attempt to detect a fetal heartbeat before an abortion and prohibit the procedure if one is detectable, the AP/Biloxi Sun Herald reports. According to the AP/Sun Herald, the bill could outlaw abortion as early as six weeks of pregnancy.

The measure proceeds to the Senate, where similar legislation died in committee last year.

The bill does not include exceptions for cases of rape or incest, but it would allow an abortion if the woman's life was at risk (Tillman, AP/Biloxi Sun Herald, 3/15).