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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Ronnie Jo

When you start breaking down the doors of the Vatican for raping and sodomizing children then you should be able to have a say about abortion. You sick twisted people who support these bastards by putting money in the offering plate every week should be sent to jail for accessory.  And if you take your children to work you should also be charged with felony child abuse.  Why do you want women to have unwanted babies? So the priests have more children to rape?  Until you stop being a bunch of hypocrites shut up.  

SKDMo... SKDMom1020

@ronniejo-who on earth said they condone the disgusting abuse by the priests? And what does that have to do with abortion?

Ronnie Jo

Simple...it's the case of making sure the kid gets born but once it's here..only 2% still care. And if they value the life of a  child who isn't even born yet so much why are they not fighting for all of the children the church rapes every year? Why?  Why is the life of the fetus valued so much more?  They condone the abuse by continuing to give their money to the church every Sunday and by not demanding those priests go to Jail. By funding the church religious people are just as guilty as the priest because they allow it to go on. Instead of stopping it they decide to battle a different war a war on women.

SKDMo... SKDMom1020

So "they" is the Catholic Church? Well, I agree with you that the rapists should be jailed. But using that as an argument for abortion is just ludicrous. How about caring for unborn babies and children BOTH?

Ronnie Jo

Yes care for both. Unfortunately I never hear anything about caring for both. All I ever read our stories about the ones who are not born yet. And to top it off, I have yet to read one single comment about men not having sex unless they're ready to have a baby. It's all a women shouldn't have sex unless she's ready for the consequences. What about men? Posters don't want their tax money to pay for abortion clinics but they have absolutely no problem paying for men to have medicine to get their dicks hard. It is the biggest double standard and it's disgusting.

Using what I said about the church to justify my view on abortion is not ludicrous. Because it's all about the value of human life right? Why fight so hard for one and ignore the other. Because ignoring the other just makes you a hypocrite. Religious people use their "morals "as to why abortion is wrong. Do their morals say what their priests do is correct? Well if you step back and look apparently with the priests do is fine with them because they never say anything about it.

Vegeta Vegeta

I love reading how nasty the commenters are to eachother when they think they're higher and mightier than each other. This has been very entertaining and a lot of you sound like bitchy teenagers. All of you have opinions, none of you are 'right'.

Scorp... ScorpioDee

The ones demanding for abortion to be made illegal need to see the problem. You don't want sex ed in school, you don't want kids to see anything sexual on tv, you damn sure don't want to give your children more allowance so they could buy condoms or get the pill, probably because you think that would MAKE them having sex (they will do it with or without!!!) and you do not want to talk to your child about sex... so with a bunch of Teens not knowing how NOT to get pregnant (may it be money or the knowledge of using contraception)...what do you expect?


And then there are not only teens who get pregnant...adult women do too... and carrying a child to term and then just give it up for adoption is not easily done. With the US poor healthcare...whp will pay for all that. Who pays, when she can't work anymore etc etc...


MY choice...if I want an abortion I should be able to get it. Give strict guidelines (like in Germany for example) and get it done by real doctors, not by some witch who has a wire hanger...

Miriam Kennedy

This isn't even about making abortion illegal. This particular issue is that there is only one doctor in the entire state of Mississippi that is both willing and qualified to do abortions. It sounds more like a doctor shortage than a right wing conspiracy. The requirement that a doctor performing abortions must have hospital privileges is a safety measure which sounds perfectly reasonable. Do any of you who are outraged really want to have a medical procedure performed by doctors who have been (for whatever reason) denied hospital privileges? If they are being denied because of politics that may be an issue - but we have no reason even to believe that these two out of state doctors were denied for that reason and that reason only (maybe they have malpractice issues? or they failed to meet some standard?). One of the major advantages of abortion being legal is that it can be regulated for safety. If we give that up, what is the point? 


 

Miriam Kennedy

This isn't even about making abortion illegal. This particular issue is that there is only one doctor in the entire state of Mississippi that is both willing and qualified to do abortions. It sounds more like a doctor shortage than a right wing conspiracy. The requirement that a doctor performing abortions must have hospital privileges is a safety measure which sounds perfectly reasonable. Do any of you who are outraged really want to have a medical procedure performed by doctors who have been (for whatever reason) denied hospital privileges? If they are being denied because of politics that may be an issue - but we have no reason even to believe that these two out of state doctors were denied for that reason and that reason only (maybe they have malpractice issues? or they failed to meet some standard?). One of the major advantages of abortion being legal is that it can be regulated for safety. If we give that up, what is the point? 


 

Dillard Jenkins

Mississippi, at the bottom of everything except obesity and ignorance where the state is at the very top.

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