On July 1st, Mississippi becomes the first state in the country with no abortion clinic.
The Mississippi Department of Health is forcing Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the last remaining abortion clinic in the state, to immediately comply with a new law requiring doctors to have admitting privileges at local hospitals.
To date, none of the highly qualified doctors who regularly provide abortions at the clinic have been granted those privileges.
This unreasonable law puts women’s lives in danger and deprives them of their constitutionally-protected right to decide whether and when to carry a pregnancy to term. The Center filed a legal challenge against the law on June 27, 2012 in an effort to block the state’s unconstitutional attack on women’s health.
Right now, thousands of women travel from all corners of the state, and beyond, to reach the clinic. Even if Jackson Women’s Health Organization has to shut down, women won’t stop seeking abortions. Instead, they’ll be forced to travel out of state to the nearest clinic or they’ll turn to unsafe options putting their health and even their lives at risk.
But the lawmakers responsible for this callous law don’t care about women or the resulting hardships. In fact, State Representative Sam Mims, the sponsor of the law, was quoted by the New York Times saying, “If this abortion clinic is closed, I think it’s a great day for Mississippi.” Gov. Phil Bryant similarly said, “If [the law] closes that clinic, then so be it.”