‘Fight against all odds’: Mississippi’s last abortion clinic closes

“Fight Against All Odds”
Last abortion clinic in Mississippi closes

A bitter day for women in the US state of Mississippi: the last abortion clinic is also closing. The Jackson Women’s Health Organization was at the center of the much-protested reversal of a US landmark ruling legalizing abortion nationwide.

Almost two weeks after a US landmark ruling legalizing abortion nationwide was overturned, Mississippi’s last abortion clinic has closed. The Jackson Women’s Health Organization stopped working, as the Pink House Fund, which collected donations for the clinic, announced on Twitter. “Today is a tough day for all of us at Mississippi’s last abortion provider.”

“It’s our final day of fighting against all odds – being there when no other provider would or could,” the Pink House Fund said, while expressing “proud” of its work. The clinic in the city of Jackson was also known as the Pink House because of the color of the building.

Not only was the clinic the only one offering abortions in the Southern state, it was also at the center of the legal battle that ultimately led to the repeal of the nation’s fundamental 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 1973 Roe v. Wade landmark ruling. This had enshrined a fundamental right to abortions up to about the 24th week of pregnancy.

Increase in clandestine and dangerous abortions?

On June 24, however, the US Supreme Court with its conservative majority declared the law in Mississippi to be constitutional – and at the same time overturned “Roe v. Wade”. The decision of the Supreme Court is considered a historic turning point and caused a political earthquake. Because there is no federal law on abortion, states can now largely or completely ban abortion. Numerous conservative-governed states have already decided to do so.

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

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

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