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Mississippi May Be First State with Zero Abortion Providers

Mississippi May Be First State with Zero Abortion Providers

Roe v. Wade may have confirmed that women have a constitutional right to chose an abortion, but for women in Mississippi, they may soon learn whether that federally protected right means anti-abortion legislators in states cannot drive out  abortion providers.

As it stands, the state of Mississippi only has one abortion clinic, the Jackson’s Women’s Health Organization, and that clinic has been the target of anti-choice activists in the state for decades. Most recently, anti-choice legislators targeted the clinic for closure via a TRAP law that mandated doctors performing abortions at the JWHO have admitting privileges at local hospitals or face criminal prosecution and requiring hundreds of thousands of dollars of non-essential clinic renovations.

According to reports, hospitals refused to grant admitting privileges because “they didn’t deal with abortion and they didn’t want the internal or external pressure of dealing with it.” The deadline for getting those privileges and making those renovations has passed and, because they were never possible to comply with from the start, the JWHO faces closure. The question now is, when?

Legislators in the state have been very clear that their crusade is about one thing and one thing only: re-criminalizing abortion. Republicans argue this is making the state “abortion free” but when one in three women will need an abortion for a variety of essential reasons including to save their own lives, there is simply no such thing as “abortion free.” And besides, those arguments run up against anti-choice claims that making the procedure impossible to get “protects” women. Nothing could be further from the truth.

We need look no further than Roe v. Wade itself for proof that criminalizing abortion endangers women and makes for tragic, terrible public health policy. Forty years ago, abortion wasn’t non-existent. Roe v. Wade didn’t magically invent abortions. Women were dying gruesome, preventable deaths. Forty years ago, the Supreme Court affirmed their right to live.

In Mississippi, the JWOH now waits. The state Health Department can’t immediately close the clinic. First it must set an inspection and if it orders a shutdown, the clinic is entitled to an appeal process. But the goal is clear and, for the “pro-life” activists in the state, in sight.

Related Stories:

House GOP Might Shut Down Government Over Contraception

Mississippi TRAP Law Upheld, Clinic Given Reprieve To Comply

5 Ways Girls Inc. Is Helping Young Women Rise Above Teen Pregnancy

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Photo from StuSeeger via flickr.

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97 comments

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2:08PM PST on Jan 29, 2013

Someone take Mississippi to court! Women will get abortions, legal or not. Please let these women have access to safe, medical procedures.

11:47AM PST on Jan 25, 2013

Sounds like something Mississippi would do!

4:56AM PST on Jan 24, 2013

Hey Mississippi, have fun paying to raise all those unwanted children; oh yeah that's right,you're one of those states that takes in more tax dollars from the government then you pay in, so that means my tax dollars (I live in a state that contributes more to the government then we get back) will be paying for your unwanted pregnancy problems.

1:38PM PST on Jan 22, 2013

Mississippi is looking to increase their incarceration rates, to help local Private Prisons make money. Unwanted children, usually grow up to be angry teenagers and angrier adults.

Also ... I'm sure many "white" states like Mississippi have been frightened that the America they believe in, is becoming a country of Color versus a country of "White" People. Ever since the information about Minority babies being born have outnumbered "white" babies ... the anti-abortionist have been working day and night!!

So they want to save the "white" babies, and they want to incarcerate babies of color!! In their blinded minds, they see a win win situation. Save the "white" race and make money too by incarcerating children of color.

Sad.

12:40PM PST on Jan 22, 2013

If the far right has its way, this is just the beginning. Remember there are elected officials who feel women don't need the right to vote either.

I still think the day men have the right to dictate to my uterus, I have the right to dictate to their penis. Until then they can mind their own business.

9:47AM PST on Jan 22, 2013

Brandon V.: Indeed, I guess I did not get your point. And your point is that anyone will be upset when their perceived rights are challenged? Duh.....!!

I fail to see the "valuable lesson" to be learned there. Everyone also has a human mother, and breathes air..... The subject matter of gun rights and abortion rights goes much deeper than that.

6:52PM PST on Jan 21, 2013

Cletus, you really didn't get my point. When someone comes for *your* rights, you won't be in a compromising mood. Doesn't really matter if the situations are exactly equivalent or not. One set of rights is about a woman's body, another set of rights is about people's mouths and brains, and another set of rights is about guns. How could they ever be exactly equivalent? Yet they are all rights.

10:23AM PST on Jan 21, 2013

This will NOT make Mississippi an "abortion-free" state by ANY means-it will make Mississippi the only state where women can't get a LEGAL abortion. Abortions will NOT stop-women will instead be forced to resort to back-alley or DIY abortions if they can't manage to travel to the nearby states and deal with the ridiculous restrictions in place there. The result? An upswing in unwanted pregnancies resulting in more women risking serious injury or death trying to terminate an unwanted pregnancy BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY. No force on earth is going to make these women change their minds if an abortion is what they want-it'll just cause more harm to these women. And let's not forget the women who need abortions to save their lives, or the ones who opt for abortion because the other option is to carry a fetus to term that has genetic or physical deformities that are INCOMPATIBLE WITH LIFE-if the delivery doesn't kill it, it will be doomed to an EXISTENCE that is short and pain/suffering filled. That is NOT life.

Is that REALLY what these idiots want? Apparently so. Can we have them charged with murder or negligence when women start dying?

8:51AM PST on Jan 21, 2013

Brandon V.: You get the "idiot of the weekend" award for attempting *equivalency* for the NRA and pro-Choice advocates.

You are correct in one sense: BOTH gun and abortion "rights" are equally derived from the constitution via judicial interpretations that one political movement likes to call "ACTIVIST".

But from there, your simple-minded attempt at 'equivalency falls apart. Basically, abortions kill fetuses that many do not consider a fully established human. Guns kill people, and everyone but the most deplorable consider ALL people humans with fully established rights. One is a PERSONAL decision that most good Americans think the government should leave alone; the other effects society as a whole, and most good Americans do think government has a role in regulating societal rights.

You can take you FALSE 'equivalency' and shove it.

7:09PM PST on Jan 20, 2013

Half of the USA is a Third world country. (Maybe that's an insult to third world countries.........)

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