Mississippi’s lone abortion clinic closed its doors last week ahead of the state’s near-abortion ban taking effect.
WLBT News reports that the Jackson Women’s Health Organization, also known as the “Pink House,” shut down Wednesday – one day before Mississippi’s trigger law kicked in.
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The trigger law bans all abortions performed surgically or chemically, with exceptions for pregnancies due to rape and if the mother’s life is at risk. Rape victims are required to report the incident to police.
“As we proceed in this post-Roe world, the people of Mississippi and of all the states will be able to fully engage in the work of both empowering women and promoting life. I am grateful that the Court has given us this opportunity,” said Attorney General Lynn Fitch.
Protestors on both sides of the conflict stood outside of the abortion clinic on its final day of operation.
“Unfortunately, I had an abortion 31 years ago,” shared Regina Minga. “And so I thought it would just go away, and it hasn’t, and it’s gotten more and more real. And so my heart hurts. So, I’ve just come here, just thanking God that maybe no more mamas, or babies and even the dads go through this regret because death is final. And you’re just not ready for that.”
Gov. Tate Reeves (R-MS) celebrated the closing, tweeting, “Today we wake up in a state where the church doors are open and the abortion clinic’s doors are closed. All the Glory to God the Father! Amen!”
Today we wake up in a state where the church doors are open and the abortion clinic’s doors are closed.
All the Glory to God the Father!
Amen!— Governor Tate Reeves (@tatereeves) July 7, 2022
Meanwhile, pro-choice advocates said they’re fearful about the future for women wanting to end their pregnancies.
“There could be botched abortions, back-alley abortions,” explained Summer Stewart. “We also have to think about the lives of women and people with uteruses that don’t want kids … the foster care system can be overloaded. The caseworkers (and) the social workers are already overloaded. I mean, there’s no support system.”
Diane Derzis, the owner of Jackson Women’s Health Organization clinic, told NPR News that the clinic will move to Las Cruces, New Mexico, about 40 miles north of El Paso, Texas.
“New Mexico, for the time being, is a very receptive state. We’ve been welcomed. And that obviously is closer to the Texas and Oklahoma borders and Arizona. So it seemed like one of the places we need to be,” Derzis said.
President Biden on Friday took executive action to promote access to abortion, sending pro-choice directives to the Departments of Justice and Health and Human Services.
The White House’s goal is to ensure access to federally approved abortion drugs and to guarantee travel across state lines to access abortion clinics.