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‘Sen. Hudson’ is the face of Life Equality Act

A 2-year-old boy with ties to Lincoln County is the face of the “Human Life Equality Act of 2020,” a bill recently passed by both houses of the Mississippi Legislature.

House Bill 1295 — which will prohibit abortions being performed because of race, sex or genetic abnormality except in a medical emergency — passed the Senate in its final form with a positive vote of 33 to 11 and in the House with a positive vote of 91 to 25. Four representatives and four senators did not cast votes.

Sen. Sally Doty, Rep. Becky Currie and Rep. Vince Mangold voted for the passing of the bill when it was presented to their respective chambers. The bill is currently awaiting the signature of Gov. Tate Reeves, who previously said he would sign the bill, if passed.

Hudson Hartman — son of Mika Hartman and CJ Hartman, a Loyd Star native — has Down syndrome. The Hartmans shared their story in the pages of The Daily Leader in August 2019.

In their mid-40s, the Hartmans have two other children — their firstborn, Hayden, 22, who was an easy pregnancy; and Henley, 12, who came along only with the help of in vitro. Due to Mika’s age, she underwent genetic testing at 13 weeks along in her third pregnancy and discovered this child had both Down syndrome and a heart defect. Only the heart issue was of concern for the Hartmans, however.

Mika’s health began to fail at 30 weeks of pregnancy, and doctors encouraged her to end the pregnancy to save her own life. The Hartmans refused, and after several weeks in the hospital to improve her own health, Mika was able to go home.

At 37 weeks, she delivered a 7-pound, 20-inch long boy they named Hudson.

“Of course we had concerns, but we knew we could do this,” Mika Hartman said. “You see, love conquers all! Not some, not most, but all. And our love was greater than our fears.”

At the time of Hudson’s birth, the Hartmans lived in Colorado where CJ was stationed in the U.S. Air Force. When doctors advised Hudson’s health would be better near sea level, Lt. Col. Hartman requested a transfer to Keesler Air Force Base in Mississippi, much nearer his childhood home in Lincoln County.

Through Mika’s involvement with the national pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List, Hudson was introduced to many influential people, including many in the Mississippi Legislature. The Hartmans met with Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann and other lawmakers as Mika recently lobbied for the Human Life Equality Act in Jackson.

When the act passed the Senate on June 23, Mika said she saw one Senator stand and request permission to ask Hosemann a question. Granted permission, he said, “I just wanted to know if Sen. Hudson was present and how he voted.”

Laughter filled the room, Mika said. And that’s how her toddler gained the nickname “Sen. Hudson” and cemented his place as the face of HB1295.

Gov. Reeves is expected to sign the bill into law today, and Mika said she hopes to be there to witness the event.