Change would move abortion deadline up 2 weeks

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Associated Press

Posted on March 12, 2014 at 4:36 AM

Updated Wednesday, Mar 12 at 4:35 AM

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A last-minute change to an abortion bill by state senators would ban abortion after 18 weeks of pregnancy, not 20.

House Bill 1400 originally calculated a pregnancy as beginning when an embryo implants itself in a woman's uterus. But the version that passed the Senate unanimously Tuesday changes that to calculate a pregnancy from when a woman's last menstrual period ended.

That new language was inserted with little notice or explanation as senators debated the bill.

Sen. Joey Fillingane, a Sumrall Republican, initially told The Associated Press that the change was meant to bring the bill into line with those in Louisiana, Texas and other states. But the change moves the bill away from those states and closer to wording used in an Arizona bill that was found unconstitutional.

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