Mississippi governor says women will have abortion right

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Missisippi Governor Phil Bryant at a news conference denouncing the new abortion bill

Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant says there is no guarantee that women in the state will have the right to an abortion.

Mr Bryant gave the assessment after the Supreme Court struck down most of a number of restrictions on late-term abortions.

The legal ruling dealt with requirements for doctors involved in the procedure, as well as mandatory waiting periods.

Late-term abortions are sometimes performed to protect the life of the mother.

Under the old law, doctors could not perform abortions more than 24 weeks into a pregnancy. Under the new law, that ban is applied to 19 weeks.

Mississippi politicians were angered after the US Supreme Court ruled that the new law interfered with a woman’s right to choose and violated federal law.

‘Enormous victory’

Mr Bryant said in a statement that the Supreme Court had not established a new right to an abortion in Mississippi.

He said the new law had been passed “to protect life”.

“Mississippi will fight to improve the quality of life for our citizens. Our compassion, support and commitment to those who would not otherwise receive a quality education or the opportunity to be successful in life can be found in our social programs,” he said.

“Every life is precious, and every life matters. Mississippi is a pro-life state because we believe that everyone is created equal and everyone deserves a chance to fulfill their God-given potential.”

It was an “enormous victory”, he added.

House Minority Leader Rep. Harry Ford, a Democrat, said the ruling showed that “Mississippi is more than just the region of the nation that saw its defining moment on civil rights in the 60s”.

“The state of Mississippi is a beacon of hope for so many of our children,” he said.

Mr Bryant, however, was not swayed by that sentiment, saying the ruling reflected “what we know is right for all people, no matter who they are, where they are from, or what circumstances in life lead them to their life’s journey”.

“God knows the answer to that question,” he said.

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