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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nonmember avatar ThatGirl

And by the way, I'm a CC permit carrying gun owner so don't try pinning that commie liberal label on me.

dirti... dirtiekittie

@wamom - "for whatever reason it is the doctors that don't want to perform abortions" ... well, there's a few reasons. one of the biggest being fears of boycotting / death threats / personal harm from over-zealous "human rights" groups. i use that term in quotes because not all human rights groups act like that, but we've seen plenty of them who have in the past. most abortion clinics are already hard to find because being too public puts the employees, drs and nurses at risk. add to that the number who don't perform abortions for personal belief reasons, and you have very slim "choices" left. 

bleed... bleedingheart8D

As a person who was very young and made the choice to give my baby up for adoption, I wish pro-lifers would quit acting as if adoption is so easy. Many years later I still grieve over it.

nonmember avatar Common.Sense

You compassionless b*tch. Seriously? You're going to tell the 14 year old who got pregnant by accident or the rape victim that you want things to be EVEN HARDER for her?? How, exactly, is a minor going to be able to get across state lines? Do you KNOW any victims of rape?? Do you know how hard it is even for them to talk about it, let alone have the book thrown at them over it?? You disgust me. Take that bible and shove it up your cavernous c**t. It might clear out some of the cobwebs.

nonmember avatar MO Mom

Dirtiekittie-well said. I don't think that ANYONE has the right to judge a woman for having an abortion. If it's not something you would choose, fine. But you don't know every woman's circumstances.

wamom223 wamom223

dirtiekitty-Well I am not down to force doctors to kill babies to protect a women's right to choose no matter what their reasons are.  Also if sounds as if you have no idea where the prolife movement has lead and before you speak about it again you should pick up Abby Johnson's book "Unplanned" or you are just going to end up looking like an idiot.  No not all human rights groups are how you have described and us Pro-lifer's are tired of having to pay for their consequences when you don't want to pay for the zealous Pro-Choicer's consequences. If you were to read Abby's book you would know that it is the Pro-life groups that have taken them on.  

It depends on where you live as to the type of access you get.  I live in Washington state and believe there is too much access.  Underage girls can get abortions without parent consent here and the state will pay for it.  I know many women that feel planned parenthood talked them into an abortion before they were ready to make the choice.  I know women that have suffered major depressions over this.  

And I notice you didn't answer my question by the way.


bleedingheart-I hope I am misunderstanding your post as it sounds like you wish you would have aborted rather than put up for adoption.  But yes, it should be easier to give your baby away than to kill it, and if you don't get that you've got a problem.  

Bruic... Bruickson

Wamom, I definitely feel for you. I have seen first hand the extreme stress trying to adopt can have on a person. My brother and his wife had all but given up until they were finally placed with a newborn who's mother had abandoned him. He's 8 months old now and the adoption isn't finalized quite yet but they are over the moon. Don't worry, you'll get there too. My problem is that too many mothers are looking at abortion as their first choice. When I was younger I was completely pro-choice but now that I'm a mother and have witnessed the heartbreak of not being able to conceive I've changed my mind. It can be said all day "that you cannot judge a woman with an unwanted pregnancy who aborts until you've walked a mile in her shoes" but the same can be said about those who's only want is a child. I imagine knowing that some women get an abortion because they are not ready to be mothers is like a kick to the gut. I understand the need for abortion for medical reasons and for some who have been raped or the victims of incest but for any other reason is hard for me to stomach.

tnyangel tnyangel

So from your headline you really think that women will have to "think about it more before they get an abortion" Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight. I think you're being silly, they are making sure that whatever she decides, she can't get an abortion in Mississippi. So only the wealthy will have a safe procedure, the rest will go back alley.......again. 


Flori... Floridamom96

ThatGirl, show me where the constitution protects abortion (not where the SCOTUS created it out of thin air, but where it says in the constitution that you have the right to an abortion). It explicitly protects the right to bear arms.

Flori... Floridamom96

bleedingheart, who is acting like it's easy? What I've read is wamom posting about how particularly difficult it is. I would argue that choosing adoption is not only very difficult, but very, very brave and selfless.

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