Mississippi state’s last abortion clinic closed

Nearly two weeks after the reversal of a landmark decision in the United States legalizing abortion nationwide, the last abortion clinic in Mississippi has closed. The Jackson Women’s Health Organization suspended operations on Wednesday, the Pink House Fund, which collects donations for the clinic, said on Twitter. “Today is a tough day for all of us at Mississippi’s last abortion provider.”

“It’s our last day fighting against all odds – being there when no other provider would or could,” the Pink House Fund said, while showing “proud” of its work. The Jackson City Clinic was also known as the Pink House due to the color of the building.

Not only was the clinic the only one offering abortions in the Southern state, but it was also at the center of the legal battle that ultimately led to the repeal of the nation’s basic right to abortion. The Jackson Women’s Health Organization had challenged a Mississippi law banning abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy in violation of the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade. This had enshrined a fundamental right to abortion until about the 24th week of pregnancy.

On June 24, however, the United States Supreme Court, with its conservative majority, declared the Mississippi law to be constitutional – and at the same time struck down “Roe v. Wade”. The Supreme Court’s decision is considered a historic turning point and caused a political earthquake. Because there is no federal abortion law, states can now largely or completely ban abortion. Many states with conservative governments have already decided to do so.

Mississippi now has a law even stricter than the 15-week law. It prohibits all abortions with few exceptions and provides for prison sentences of up to ten years for violations. The Jackson abortion clinic had tried to have the law blocked in court, but failed Tuesday and was forced to close.

Abortion clinics in other states have recently had to close. Women who live there and wish to have an abortion will have to travel to states where abortion is legal. Another option is abortion pills, which conservative states also crack down on. Experts also fear an increase in clandestine abortions, which are dangerous for women.

Publication: 07/07/2022 – Source: Agence-France-Presse

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