The only clinic that performs abortions in Mississippi, the state at the heart of the US Supreme Court’s historic about-face on women’s reproductive rights, closed its doors for the final time on Wednesday.
The Jackson Women’s Health Organization, nicknamed the Pink House for the building’s brightly colored walls, performed its last pregnancy termination surgeries in the conservative, impoverished southern state before a law banning all abortions went into effect.
“Today is a rough day for all of us @ the last abortion provider in Mississippi,” wrote the Pink House Fund, which raised funds to keep the facility running, on Twitter.
“It’s our last day of fighting against all odds – to be where no other vendor has wanted or been able to. We are proud of the work we have done here.”
Jackson Women’s Health gained international notoriety for instigating the court case that ultimately led to the June 24 Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade, the 1973 ruling that enshrined nationwide abortion rights in the United States.
The Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the only clinic that performs abortions in the state of Mississippi, was shut down after the Supreme Court overturned the 1973 ruling that enshrined abortion rights in the United States
Anti-abortion activist EC Smith walks with his sign outside the Jackson Women’s Health Organization clinic in Jackson Monday, June 27, 2022
The Supreme Court ruling was in a case called Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization — the clinic’s challenge to a 2018 Mississippi law banning most abortions at 15 weeks. The Pink House had been performing abortions for 16 weeks, but previous US Supreme Court rulings allowed abortion up to the point of fetal viability, about 24 weeks.
Mississippi Chief Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs, was named in the lawsuit but has not publicly commented on the case. The Republican attorney general urged the judiciary to use the case to try Roe v. Overthrow Wade and give states more power to regulate or ban abortion.
With the case, the High Court – which has moved to the right with President Donald Trump’s appointment of three Conservative justices – gave each state the freedom to ban abortion within its borders or to maintain legality.
Thirteen states, anticipating the court’s seismic shift, passed trigger legislation to take effect immediately after Roe v Wade’s fall.
Mississippi law, passed in 2007, carries penalties of up to 10 years in prison for violators, with exceptions only in cases where the life of the mother is at risk—but not in cases of rape or incest.
The Pink House had asked local courts to block the law, but they refused, leaving the clinic with no choice but to close.
Because most neighboring states are anti-abortion, women in Mississippi who want to terminate a pregnancy must resort to pro-choice pills or, in some cases, travel hundreds of miles (kilometers) to have an abortion in states like Illinois.
Cars with Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana and Arkansas license plates have driven through Jackson’s Fondren neighborhood to take women and girls – some of whom appeared to be teenagers – to the Pink House. Drivers parked on side streets near the clinic in the shade of pink and purple crape myrtles, their car air conditioners cranked up as they waited.
Diane Derzis, who has owned the Mississippi Clinic since 2010, drove hours after the Supreme Court ruling that found Roe v. Wade was picked up after Jackson to speak at the Pink House.
“It was such an honor and privilege to be in Mississippi. I’ve learned to love this state and the people in it,” Derzis told those gathered in the sweltering heat.
Derzis told The Associated Press after the ruling that she had no regrets about filing the lawsuit, which eventually undermined nearly five decades of abortion law.
“We had no choice. And if it wasn’t for that lawsuit, it would have been another one,” said Derzis, who also owns abortion clinics in Georgia and Virginia and lives in Alabama.
Shannon Brewer, the director of the Pink House, believes low-income women will be hit hardest because they can’t get abortions in the state.
Derzis and Brewer will soon be opening an abortion clinic in Las Cruces, New Mexico, about an hour’s drive from El Paso, Texas — they’re calling it Pink House West. Hamlin said she is being licensed in New Mexico so she can work there.
In other parts of the country, several other facilities have ceased operations.
Whole Woman’s Health announced Wednesday that it would close its four clinics in Texas and open a new one in neighboring New Mexico.
Missouri’s only clinic that performs abortions, operated by Planned Parenthood in St. Louis, also suspended all those procedures on June 23.
Legal battles delayed the end date in Louisiana, for example, but eventually abortion access is expected to disappear in about half of the country’s 50 states.
The Supreme Court of the 26 states where abortion is likely to be illegal has overturned Roe vs. Wade
The 26 states where abortion is likely to become illegal if SCOTUS overturns Roe vs. Wade after a leaked draft opinion showed a majority of judges support the move
More than half of all US states have some form of abortion ban, which is likely to come into effect after Roe v Wade was overturned by the US Supreme Court.
According to the reproductive rights group, the Guttmacher Institute, they do exist 26 states likely to make abortion illegal after Supreme Court overturns landmark 1973 ruling
Eighteen have existing abortion bans previously ruled unconstitutional, four have temporary bans and four are likely to pass legislation once Roe v Wade is repealed, the organization found.
The 18 states that already have a near-total abortion ban are Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wisconsin Wyoming.
In addition, Georgia, Iowa, Ohio and South Carolina have laws prohibiting abortions after the six-week mark.
Florida, Indiana, Montana and Nebraska are likely to pass legislation if Roe v Wade is repealed, the Guttmacher Institute said.
The bans of Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas, West Virginia, and Wisconsin all have pre-Roe v Wade laws that became unenforceable after the Supreme Court’s 1973 decision — the would now set federal precedent in place established in Roe was overturned.
Arkansas, Oklahoma, Mississippi and Texas have additional bans that will take effect if the law is repealed. These were handed over to Roe v Wade.
Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah and Wyoming join them in passing such laws.
The states that restrict abortions based on the length of a patient’s pregnancy are Arkansas, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, North Dakota and Ohio.
There are four states that have laws that state abortion is not a constitutionally protected right: Alabama, Louisiana, Texas and West Virginia.
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10989643/Lone-abortion-clinic-closes-US-state-heart-key-court-case.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 Last abortion clinic in Mississippi to close after Supreme Court decision to overthrow Roe V. Wade