Tag Archives: mississippi women’s clinic

Jackson Women’s Clinic

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An ever present anti-choice protestor at the Jackson Women’s Health Clinic

The clinic is now officially in violation of the de facto TRAP law.  After applying to numerous hospitals for admission privileges – the result of a law passed to end abortion in Mississippi – and being denied the clinic’s status is in the hands of a judge.  An injunction against the law has kept the clinic open.  The only abortion clinic in Mississippi.

Last week, Mississippi Department of Health made an unannounced visit to the clinic to inspect the facility for compliance.  They have not announced their findings – and we aren’t sure when they will be made available.  But, since it is know – admitted by staff – that they don’t meet the unreasonable construction requirement – the Health Department would be within its rights to close the clinic down.

But, when I was in Mississippi last month, I spoke to a MS Dept. of Health spokesperson who told me they wouldn’t be taking any action against the clinic – unless the federal judge in charge of the injunction ruled.  So what does that mean?  Were they bound by the law to inspect it, but the report could say anything?  It is unclear.  What was clear in my many conversations with the Health Department is that they are not happy with the administration, that they want comprehensive sex education, and access to reproductive healthcare for all women in Mississippi.

One thing we can be sure of is that Mississippi will no longer have access to abortion.  That they will have to leave the state (with what resources?) or carry a child they do not want to carry.  They won’t be able to access inexpensive birth control to prevent pregnancy.  So, Governor Bryant’s pledge to make Mississippi an abortion free state may be a win for the administration.  That’s all that matters – not the women.  Never the women.

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“80% of Christians in Mississippi are riding church pews into hell”.

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Anti-abortion activist out front of Mississippi’s only remaining free-standing abortion clinic

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Today I spent an hour  talking with anti-abortion advocates out front of the Jackson Women’s Clinic the state’s last free-standing clinic providing abortions.  I had come to talk with Roy McMillan who has been protesting in front of the clinic every day it sees patients for years and years and years.  McMillan wasn’t there, but one of his associates quickly got him on the phone and handed it over to me.

He and his wife, Dr. Beverly McMillan, OB-GYN (who Roy called a “reformed abortionist”) supported the so-named personhood amendment last year in the state which would have outlawed most forms of hormonal birth control and in-vitro fertilization.   The couple has been ill recently so haven’t been a presence at the clinic in the past weeks, but Roy is getting back there in the next day or so.  He invited me over to speak to he and Dr. McMillan at their home – about a mile from the clinic – to do a proper interview.

During my conversation with McMillan, I watched the woman protestor follow couples, young women and men, as they walked into and out of the clinic – telling them “you don’t have to do this” and “you are already a mother.”  In fact when I first approached, she told me, “you don’t have to do this.”

Before I left, I spoke with the male activist out front of the clinic.  I thanked him for the use of his phone and time.  I told him I appreciated his understanding I wasn’t there to just tell their side of the story, that I was there to talk about religion – for good or for ill – and its impact on sexual education and teen pregnancy.  That one of the reasons I wanted to come to Mississippi was because it is listed as the most religious state in the country.

He said something then that surprised me. That Mississippi is listed as most religious but that just speaks to the number of churchgoers which is misleading.  He chuckled a bit and said, “80% of Christians in Mississippi are riding church pews to hell.”

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