Closing Mississippi's Only Abortion Clinic Should Make Women Think More About 'Choice'

This Just In 92

Mississippi’s last remaining abortion clinic is in danger of being shut down. Thanks to a law passed last spring, doctors are now required to have admitting privileges to a nearby hospital in order to perform abortions. Currently, only one of the three doctors working at Jackson Women’s Health Organization has such privileges.

The state health department granted the clinic six months to become compliant with the law. The deadline is January 11, 2013, and it looks like there’s no chance they’ll be successful. All seven nearby hospitals have denied admitting privileges to the other two doctors, who live out-of-state, according to a New York Times article published last July.

The clinic plans to stay open and operate illegally.

Mississippi is not the only state that has such laws regarding health care clinics, but it is one of the few. However, combined with the culture of the state regarding abortion, it may be the lone state that manages to get abortion shut down within its borders. The hospitals that allowed the physicians to even apply (two didn’t) turned down their applications “because of hospital policies concerning abortion and because of their concern about the effect on relationships in the community of granting privileges to the doctors.”

The state’s governor, Phil Bryant, said upon the passage of the law, “Today you see the first step in a movement to do what we campaigned on ... to try to end abortion in Mississippi.”

Does this violate Roe vs. Wade? Not exactly. That case made abortion legal across all 50 states, but it did not mandate it under any and all circumstances. Abortion is still perfectly legal in Mississippi, and of course doctors in hospitals will still perform them when medically necessary. When it’s save the life of the mother or they both die, I can’t imagine a single physician that wouldn’t do just that. Something about “first do no harm.”

Women will also be able to cross state lines to terminate their pregnancies. Yes, it makes it harder to get an abortion. Call me crazy, but I believe that making the decision to end the life of your unborn child should be a tough one. By having to make bigger plans than going down the street to the local clinic, maybe women will think more carefully about their choices. Maybe, just maybe, the absence of easy abortions will make a teenager think twice about having sex.

If abortion activists feel strongly enough that abortions should be readily available in Mississippi, they are welcome to open their own hospital in the state. The law doesn’t say anything about outlawing abortions, only that doctors performing medical procedures have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.

Abortions are still legal in Mississippi. Now they’ll be safe and rare, too.

Do you think this violates a woman’s right to choose?

Image via AnyaLogic/Flickr

abortion, feminism, health care, in the news, law, women's issues


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Bruic... Bruickson

Wamom, you are so right. I live in Ms and watched my brother and sister-in-law go through the adoption process. Adoptive parents are NOT just looking for newborns. The waiting list for adoptive parents is insane and I guarantee that if a woman chooses adoption (at least in my area) that child will not sit in some orphanage. The children who do end up in the system and are bounced from foster home to foster home are usually those who's parents lost custody. And even with those children adoptive parents are trying like hell to become their parents. Almost a year ago, my brother and his wife had two children placed in their care but after a few months were returned to their biological grandparents because of a mistake the judge had made. It was heartbreaking(the kids are safe and in a good home but it didn't make it any less devastating to our family to have to say goodbye). There really should be more education about the adoption process since some are so completely misinformed.

wamom223 wamom223

Okay why are you so mad at the Pro lifers dirtiekittie?  If more doctors in Mississippi wanted to perform abortions we wouldn't be having this conversation.  Also why are you so okay with these doctors being able to botch an abortion and then fly out of state?  What floridamom said is true in Washington state also about mid wives so I don't understand what the issue is here.  

Flori... Floridamom96

"you can't judge unless you've walked a mile in their shoes." This is such a load of crap. Right and wrong are inherent, not relative. I absolutely can and will judge a person's actions as right or wrong. I do not have to have faced or made the same poor decisions to know which ones are bad and which ones are good. This line about not judging is a moral fallacy meant to make those standing up for what's right feel bad. It won't work with me. Under no circumstances is it ever morally right to kill an unborn child. There may be circumstances under which I will have compassion for the woman making the choice, but there will never be any that make it right.

Caera Caera

If a doctor can't get admitting priviledges to a hospital, I wouldn't go to him or her anyway. That seems like a pretty minor requirement.

Also, the harder it is to end the life of a child, the better.

Flori... Floridamom96

And what is it when pro-abortion people claim that more women will die from botched abortions and more newborns will be abandoned or murdered now, if not pressure and threats to get their way?

wamom223 wamom223

Bruickson-We were able to conceive but wanted another child and so far no luck.  The sad part is I am scared to death of adoption.  I've seen so many things happen that I just don't know if I could mentally survive and still be the same person.  For me the biggest issue is how often in my state the child is taken away from a real mother to be given back to their birth mother that has already lost her three other children and has not 'fixed' herself at all.  This happened to a friend of mine and while she got her baby back we have no idea what happened to him the three months he was with his birth mother but we know she wasn't making good choices as she is back in jail.  It is truly sad how many people are willing to ignore this issue while screaming about their right to choose to kill off their babies.  People vilify the parents that have enough money to adopt over sea's when they have no idea that may have been their only option or their shortest wait time.  

paren... parentalrights1

Fuck anti choicers. Seriously the scum of the earth. Don't deserve to breathe

dirti... dirtiekittie

@wamom - i'm not mad at pro-lifers, nor do i have anything against them. i simply stated my opinion in one post, and then posted facts thereafter. nowhere did i attack pro-lifers, i only said not to judge unless you've walked a mile in their shoes. 


nonmember avatar ThatGirl

Let me pose this question to those of you who oppose abortion but support the 2nd Amendment: if you are okay with the law circumventing a woman’s constitutionally protected right to an abortion using the reasoning that it is still legal but we will put so many bogus restrictions in place that it isn’t available, why aren’t you also okay with keeping your right to bear arms but not being able to purchase guns at gun shows, or only limit your purchase to one per month, or only buy one after a medical screening and a mandatory waiting period, or only having guns legally sold at places that meet certain criteria to the point that those stores can’t actually operate in your state? That is the same tactic being used here: to say we won’t make it illegal, just put so many roadblocks in place that it isn’t actually attainable. Hey, if it’s good enough for one constitutionally protected right it’s good for another. That’s just what Mississippi needs, more kids born into poverty. They’re doing such a great job with their health and educational systems now, aren’t they?

wamom223 wamom223

I am just pointing out dirtiekittie that for whatever reason it is the doctors that don't want to perform abortions and that it is logical to ask they they be able to stay with their patients through the process if anything goes wrong.  If the only option is to call 911 I don't see how this is that different from a backalley abortion?  

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