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JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – Mississippi lawmakers are considering new restrictions on reproductive health, including a bill that would ban abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected.

Republican Rep. Tracy Arnold of Booneville filed the “Protection of the Human Person Act.” It reflects a personhood initiative that state voters rejected in 2011, which would’ve defined life as beginning at fertilization. But, it goes further. Arnold’s bill would ban creation of any human-animal hybrid through in vitro fertilization.

Arnold tells The Associated Press that with crops, chicken and fish already genetically altered, he worries such hybrids could be attempted and he doesn’t want “a freak of nature.”

Oxford resident Cristen Hemmins, who campaigned against the personhood initiative, says lawmakers should stop trying to restrict abortion access. She says women should have affordable health care, including contraception.



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