Jackson!

After a long day of travel PATH train, NJ Transit, EWR – ATL – JAN – Budget Rental Car and finally my home for the next three weeks I want to update on the goings on for the weekend.

Tomorrow (Saturday, Dec 1) I will be attending my very first gathering of a group of ladies in Jackson called Dirty South Feminists.  I was invited to join the group by Mississippi Public Broadcasting reporter, producer and now friend, Annie Gilbertson.  I am not sure what goes on at these functions but its pot-luck so there will be plenty of food to eat while discussing current lady issues in the dirty south.  Everyone attending is invited to bring a topic to discuss or come along for the ride.  I already know what my topic is (hint:  rhymes with flex ted).

But, I am sure the subject of Mississippi’s only abortion clinic shutting down in January will be a huge topic at the get together:

The Jackson Women’s Health Organization filed for a preliminary injunction Wednesday to delay enforcement of the new law. Clinic officials say House Bill 1390, which was signed into law in April, imposes unnecessary guidelines and requires abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at a local hospital. The clinic’s doctors have been unable to gain those privileges. (Read here.)

The hope is that a federal judge will step in to keep the clinic open.

Sunday (Dec. 2) shalt not be a day of rest for me.  My host, Betty, happens to have friends who have been in and around the sex-education and teen pregnancy policy making machinery in Mississippi going back a couple of decades.  They will be coming over to Betty’s house for a “salon” (Betty’s word, and one I believe that should be brought back, the practice radically implemented).  I hope to gather some historical information about the development of sex ed in Mississippi.  How the conversation started at a state policy level, what the various churches did or didn’t do or say during the process, how those churches and the powerful Southern Baptist Convention influenced sex ed policy and how Mississippi finally got to the point of HB 999 (requiring ab-only or ab-“plus” be taught for the first time ever in public schools).

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