JACKSON, Miss. (ChurchMilitant.com) - The governor of Mississippi has banned a common second-trimester abortion procedure and signed a bill allowing Church leaders to carry firearms to protect their congregations.
Governor Phil Bryant signed the Mississippi Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act Friday. The law bans all "dilation and evacuation" procedures "unless necessary to prevent serious health risk to the unborn child's mother."
Mississippi has only one abortion mill, the Jackson Women's Health Organization.
This is not the first time Gov. Bryant has signed pro-life legislation. In 2014, he banned abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, and without the typical exception for rape and incest. Bryant said at the time his goal is to end all abortion in Mississippi.
Bryant also signed the Mississippi Church Protection Act Friday, which allows churches and other places of worship to designate that certain members be authorized to carry firearms for the protection of the congregation.
Such designated members will be "immune from civil liability for any action taken" during any "reasonable exercise" of their duties as security members.
Some are speculating the gun law is a measure to prevent an event similar to the Church shootings last year. Nine people were shot and killed at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church (EAME), a black church in Charleston, South Carolina in June 2015.
The suspected shooter, Dylan Roof, a high school dropout, walked into a prayer meeting at Emanuel AME and shot nine people at close range. Roof was arrested and taken into custody 13 hours later.
It was the deadliest attack on a place of worship in the United States in 24 years. Among the victims killed included S.C. state senator Clementa Pinckney, who was also the church's pastor.