JACKSON, Miss. (AP, abc24.com) - A bill that would require physicians to search for a fetal heartbeat before performing an abortion has passed the House.
The bill would potentially require women to have transvaginal ultrasounds of the sort that were contested in Virginia recently, because a heartbeat cannot be heard through a traditional ultrasound until five or six weeks into a pregnancy, legislators said.
House Bill 1196 contains language similar to the "personhood amendment" language that would have defined life as beginning at conception but was defeated by voters last year. The bill defines an "unborn human individual" as "an individual organism of the species homo sapiens from fertilization until live birth."
An amendment to the bill that would have prohibited vasectomies in the state was defeated.
The bill passed 78-36.