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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Miriam Kennedy

 I also read something about Miss. having the highest rate in the country for unintended pregnancy. This is not good. I hope that at the same time as they limit access to abortion, they would increase th access to birth control, but I doubt that will actually happen. Maybe that should be the focus here? Why isn't Planned Parenthood or whoever is outraged about this, working in that direction? 

Neither abortion, nor adoption are good outcomes. Even though for someone that means they get a baby, the birth mother can suffer either way. Many women do go the rest of their lives regretting their choice and that is very sad. 

I don't agree with the implication that there will be more "back alley" abortions. Many women who would choose to do something that is presented as perfectly safe and not likely to damage their body in any way, would be desperate enough to still choose to do that thing if it meant possibly seriously damaging themselves. I sure would be influenced by that aspect as would most women I know. One of the huge reasons (that no one talks about - because they don't want the accusation of selfishness) that women do choose abortion is that we don't want to put our bodies through a pregnancy. Why then would they risk injuring themselves in such a disturbing manner? I just don't see it. 

Marcella Shambles

Here's a good website for all you having trouble adopting - Yes, they won't just let anyone adopt - gotta have a job, stable home, etc., etc., Yes, it can take up to a year, but if you have the basics you can adopt.  Anyone who says they are having "so many problems" when trying to adopt, the problem lies with THEM, not the lack of children.

dirti... dirtiekittie

@wamom - you said: 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.

now, please see my previous statement: 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.


tuffy... tuffymama

PonyChaser said it.

Ronnie Jo

Before this huge push of religion, women could end unwanted pregnancies whenever they wanted using natural methods. Of course since Christians decided they wanted to rule the world and make women slaves to men all of this knowledge has been destroyed.  Why should a woman have to go through an entire pregnancy just to give up the baby for adoption?  Pro life people whine, cry and bitch about abortion but where are they once the child is here? I will tell you, nowhere!  Because if they were there for the unwanted child this wouldn't even be an issue. All pro-life people care about is a kid before it's here.  They don't give a shit after it's born.  So why put a person through a foster care system that doesn't work?  It's just complete BS.  Who is anyone tell someone else what they have to do with their body? Would you demand a woman to keep a parasite in her body? No you wouldn't.  Just a way for men to control women and for women who have been brainwashed lemmings to spout their religiously brainwashed ideas. 

wamom223 wamom223

yes dirtiekitty but you seem to not realize why there are less of those groups and not more and you have Pro-lifer's to thank for that.  Again not answering my question about how this clinic differs from a back alley abortion but I didn't really expect you to.  


Bruickson-I try not to judge but as I am human it happens.  My biggest thing is I don't want to pay for other people's abortions and birth control when we can't afford to do what we need to get pregnant.


@Marcella Shambles-Thanks for proving you have no idea what you are talking about with your post.   

Bruic... Bruickson

Wamom, agreed.

Autum... Autumnleaves87

Who does any woman think she is, telling other women what to do with their own bodies??

You disgusting hypocrites. Right wingers always calling for less government, unless its legislation that goes with THEIR beliefs. Seriously, the scum of he earth has more sense than that.

You think a woman who doesn't want a baby, wants to carry one to term and then give it away?! That's the better option?? Wow.

How about have a safe and legal medical procedure? But don't have a child into this world and then abandon it into this messed up system we have in this country. Give me a break. You women make me sick.

nonmember avatar Truth Teller

Looks like the disturbing infant mortality rate in Mississippi is about to go up...

Flori... Floridamom96

The government tells people what they can do with their own bodies every freaking day in too many ways to list. What is vile and disgusting is anyone supporting the murder of unborn babies for the sole purpose of preventing a woman from being inconvenienced. If you aren't prepared to birth a child DON'T HAVE SEX. It is indefensible to abort a child because you "aren't ready" or "can't afford it" or your boyfriend left you or you changed your mind. Women/girls who have been raped and file a police report claiming as much are entitled to choose for themselves how to handle any resulting pregnancy (though I still think abortion is the wrong answer). Abortion as a form of birth control (the most prevalent reason for abortion) is vile and indefensible and should be illegal.

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