The Child Protection Act, House Bill 16, passed the Legislature today. The bill requires immediate reporting by health care practitioners, clergy members, teaching or childcare providers, law enforcement officers or commercial image processors when faced with a reasonable suspicion that a sex crime against a minor has occurred. The measure also requires preservation of DNA evidence resulting from abortions performed on children under 14 years of age where there was a suspicion of sexual assault.
Gov. Bryant made the following statement upon the bill's passage:
"I look forward to signing the Child Protection Act and protecting Mississippi's children. This legislation will provide the necessary tools for law enforcement to fight crimes against children and will send a clear message that Mississippi will not tolerate such abuse and will pursue the sexual predator who prey upon our children."
While Bryant was lieutenant governor, the Mississippi Senate passed The Child Protection Act unanimously.