Baby Selling Bill Finally Passes Mississippi Legislature

(Panola County, MS 3/16/2009) A bill to outlaw the selling of children finally makes to the Mississippi Governor’s desk after what seemed like certain death, and miraculous revival.

It began with an investigation by News Channel 3’s Keli Rabon into a Yalobusha County case of a woman trying to sell her daughter’s baby, and officers learning there was no law against it.

Lawmakers took notice and went to work.

It’s been a long, tough road for a bill that most people see as just good moral judgment and common sense.

Now, all it needs is the signature of Governor Haley Barbour.

It’s hard to find anybody who doesn’t think even the idea of selling children, is just morally wrong. “You don’t sell children and human beings like you do animals. You don’t do that.” said Clarence Rudd Jr. of Batesville.

It sounds like common sense, but our News Channel 3 investigaton last year proved it is Happening. Investigators found a Yalobusha County woman trying to sell her child, only to learn it wasn’t against the law. “I appreciate very much News Channel 3 bringing this to our attention.” said Hernando Senator Doug Davis whose first attempt to outlaw the practice died in a House committee.

Davis found a way to revive it by asking to add it to a house bill from Representative Bobby Moak that would require one parent to notify the other when a child is taken out of town, including itinerary and contact information. I spoke to Representative Moak after I offered the amendment to the house bill and he was very supportive of what I had done and he had no problem with it and didn’t anticipate any p roblems in the house and it had no problems.” explained Davis.

In fact, it passed without a dissenting vote.

The man who first investigated the Yalobusha case says he’s ready to put the proposed law into action.”If you’re a parent or you mother a child and you’re trying to sell that child, we find out about it, we’re coming after ya.” said Panola County Sheriff’s Department Chief Investigator Mark Whitten.

But first, Governor Barbour has to sign the bill, which Senator Davis expects by the end of the month.

Mississippians say it can’t happen too soon. “Slavery time done gone.” said Mr. Rudd.

Representative Moak hails from the Gulf coast but is a long time friend of Desoto County. He’s a close personal friend of former DeSoto representative John Grisham.

Yes, that John Grisham.


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