The Daily Grind Video

On Monday, Mississippi lawmakers determined to restrict women’s reproductive rights supported a bill that criminalizes abortions at 20 weeks, without exception for rape and incest.

The bill, signed by Gov. Phil Bryant, would allow exemptions in cases where the mother’s life is in danger, or where it is determined the fetus has problems and no chance of survival.

But even that acquiescence comes with a price.

Because of the way the law is worded, the measure is actually a harsher restriction than other 20-week bans around the country.

According to Think Progress:

The other states with 20-week bans on the books calculate gestation beginning when the egg is fertilized and implanted in the uterine lining. After that point, women have a 20-week window to access legal abortion services. But Mississippi’s new law starts counting from the woman’s last menstrual period — about two weeks before fertilization. That ends up shaving off some time from the available window for legal abortion care.

And interestingly enough, the only abortion clinic in the state doesn’t even perform the procedure after 16 weeks, meaning the new measure will have very little impact on abortion policy.

So why the show of arms?

The legislative move is intended to fit into the broader “fetal pain” strategy. Abortion opponents claim that fetuses can feel pain after 20 weeks of pregnancy, and this scientifically disputed concept has allowed them to successfully impose unconstitutional limits on later abortion in 20 different states. Fetal pain measures are specifically intended to slowly chip away at the boundaries of Roe v. Wade, and so far, they’ve been working.

Talk about a tactical approach to the war on women.

SOURCE: Think Progress, Clarion Ledger | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty