Over the past few weeks, Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant has been in the news about an upcoming vacant U.S. Senate seat that he will appoint with the retirement of long-time public servant Thad Cochran. On Tuesday, he made more headlines when he signed into law a new state bill called the Gestational Age Act, which bans abortion in Mississippi after 15 weeks.
This bill, which only gives exceptions for medical emergency or a severe fetal abnormality, passed the Mississippi State Legislature earlier this month. The state of Mississippi has long battled issues within its borders, but its citizens should be proud how its legislators and Governor Bryant have stood for life over the past five years. It was Mississippi who implemented stricter requirements for abortion facilities back in 2012. Despite a federal district court blocking this law a year later, Mississippi has not wavered.
"I am committed to making Mississippi the safest place in America for an unborn child, and this bill will help us achieve that goal. We are saving more of the unborn than any state in America, and what better thing we could do," said Bryant. "We'll probably be sued here in about a half hour, and that'll be fine with me. It is worth fighting over."
Bryant's right, life is worth fighting for. In fact, I would argue it is the most fundamental right one could fight for. Without life, you can not have liberty or the pursuit of happiness. I reminded of what native Mississippian and the President of the Southern Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission Russell Moore has said, “I’m reminded that we have to say things to one another that human beings shouldn’t have to say. Mothers shouldn’t kill their children. Fathers shouldn’t abandon their babies. No human life is worthless, regardless of skin color, age, disability, economic status. The very fact that these things must be proclaimed is a reminder of the horrors of this present darkness. Human life bears inherent dignity because human life reflects the life of God himself.”
Governor Bryant and the entire Mississippi State legislature that passed this bill should be commended for speaking out for those who cannot speak. May we continue to pray that more states do the same.