Mississippi Republican Gov. Tate Reeves signed a new law on Wednesday, banning abortions based on race, sex, and genetic anomalies of an unborn baby.
The state House voted 91-25 on Tuesday to pass the final version of the bill, which easily cleared the Senate last week.
Supporters of the new law say it will prevent abortion for Down syndrome or other similar disabilities.
"Women should not be pressured to have an abortion because their child is different: of a different ability, of a different race, of a different sex," said Jameson Taylor, vice president for policy with the Mississippi Center for Public Policy.
The new Mississippi law took effect as soon as Reeves signed the bill. Physicians and health care workers who knowingly and willingly violate the new abortion restrictions will face up to 10 years in jail. The women getting the procedure will not be punished.
Opponents of the new law say it interferes with private medical decisions in a state with just one abortion clinic.
"The Supreme Court has consistently held that abortion before viability is an unqualified right; the state has no reason to question women on the reason they have made this difficult choice," Beth Orlansky, advocacy director for the Mississippi Center for Justice, said.
According to an abortion-rights group:
- Nine states ban abortion because of sex
- Two states ban it becomes of race
- Two states ban abortion because of genetic anomaly