Lawmakers stand at attention as the choir from the Mississippi School of the Arts in Brookhaven sings 'America the Beautiful' from the gallery in Senate chambers in January at the Capitol in Jackson (AP Photo / Rogelio V. Solis)
By EMILY WAGSTER PETTUS Associated Press
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - A bill that passed the Mississippi House on Wednesday is aimed at identifying and prosecuting those who impregnate underage girls.
House Bill 151 would require physicians or midwives to collect umbilical cord blood when a baby is born to a mother who's younger than 16 and the mother doesn't reveal the father's name.
House Judiciary B Committee Chairman Andy Gipson says a DNA test, using the cord blood, could determine who the father is. He says if the father is an adult, authorities could pursue statutory rape charges.
Gipson says Republican Gov. Phil Bryant requested the bill and Democratic Attorney General Jim Hood supports it.
Opponents raised concerns about medical privacy.
The bill passed 99-18 and goes to the Senate. Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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