The Mississippi's only abortion clinic was buzzing in chaotic days following the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to uphold abortion rights nationwide. This case originated in the conservative Deep South state of Mississippi, which has this bright-pink medical facility closing its doors Wednesday.
Jackson Women's Health Organization doctors were trying to see as many people as possible before Thursday. Mississippi's conservative Supreme Court will not intervene. Mississippi will ban all abortions.
Jackson Women's Health Organization filed an action to block Mississippi's "trigger” law from going into effect. This was in response to the potential negative effects of the law. It was originally created to allow Mississippi to ban abortions when federal protections are revoked. In an eight-page opinion, a judge denied Tuesday's clinic's request. He suggested that delaying the ban would "clearly harm the state" and its citizens by depriving the public of the right to enforce its laws.
In the midst of scorching summer heat and humidity, clashes erupted Wednesday between pro-abortion protesters, volunteers, and patients escorting them into the Pink House clinic.
As Dr. Cheryl Hamlin, an abortionist who has been traveling from Boston for five year, walked out of the Pink House, an opponent used a bullhorn and yelled at her. "Repent! Repent!" Doug Lane yelled, "Repent!"
Wide swathes of the United States have been experiencing a decrease in abortion access. This is because conservative states have enacted restrictions or bans since Roe v. Wade was overturned by the Supreme Court, the 1973 landmark ruling that legalized abortion nationwide.
Three conservative justices, including one former President Donald Trump appointed, modified the court's ruling and issued it June 24. Since September, when Texas banned abortions early in pregnancy, the Mississippi clinic has been overflowing with patients.
Mississippi, Arkansas, Texas and Louisiana license plates were seen driving through Jackson's Fondren to bring girls and women, some of them teenagers, to the Pink House. The pink and purple crepe myrtles suffused the air as drivers parked their cars on the side streets next to the clinic, blasting the air conditioners while they waited.
Diane Derzis, the Mississippi clinic owner since 2010, traveled to Jackson after the Supreme Court's decision overturning Roe V. Wade.
"It's been an honor and privilege to be here in Mississippi. "I've grown to love this state, and the people in them," Derzis said to those gathering in the heat.
Dobbs, a case titled Jackson Women's Health Organization - the clinic's challenge to a 2018 Mississippi law banning most abortions after 15 week. Although the Pink House was performing abortions for 16 weeks, previous U.S. Supreme Court decisions allowed abortion to be performed until fetal viability at approximately 24 weeks.
Mississippi's top health official, Dr. Thomas Dobbs was named in the lawsuit but has not made a public statement about the matter. The Republican attorney general of the state urged justices not to dismiss Roe v. Wade, but to give states more control over regulating or banning abortion.
After the ruling, Derzis said to The Associated Press that she didn’t regret filing the lawsuit which eventually overturned nearly fifty years of abortion case law.
"We had no choice. "And if it hadn’t been this lawsuit it would have been another one," stated Derzis, who owns two abortion clinics in Georgia, Virginia and lives in Alabama.
Because Mississippi has no in-state doctors, the Mississippi clinic employs out-of-state specialists like Dr. Hamlin.
Dr. Hamlin expressed concern about the Pink House closing, saying that she was concerned about the fate of women in poverty in areas where there is not much access to healthcare.
People say, "Oh, what are you supposed to do?" She said. "And I'm like, 'Vote.'"
Shannon Brewer, director of Pink House, agrees that low-income women will suffer the most from being unable to have abortions in-state.
Brewer said to the AP that the anti-abortion demonstrators know her by name, yell at and yell at them, but she ignores them.
Brewer stated, "They don’t say much to me anymore than, you know? 'You’re coming to work in order to kill babies." "I've been here 20-something years. It's almost like I don't hear the sound anymore when I get out the car. It's the same thing over-and-over again.
A few staff members were expected to be at the Pink House Thursday for paperwork before it closed, but there were no procedures.
The Mississippi clinic is closing. Derzis and Brewer plan to open an abortion clinic in Las Cruces (New Mexico), about an hour drive from El Paso, Texas. They will call it Pink House West. Hamlin stated that she is obtaining a license in New Mexico to work there.
Mississippi and New Mexico are the two poorest states in America, yet they have very different views on access and abortion politics.
New Mexico is home to a Democratic-led legislature, governor and recently took an additional step to protect providers as well as patients from prosecutions by outsiders. There will likely be an increase in people seeking abortions from states nearby that have more restrictive abortion laws.
Whole Woman's Health is one of the largest Texas abortion providers. It announced Wednesday that it plans to reopen in New Mexico, near the state border, in order to offer first- and second-trimester abortions. After Friday's ruling by the Texas Supreme Court, which ended abortions at four of its clinics in Texas, Whole Woman's Health began closing down Texas operations.
On June 24, Derzis stood outside the Mississippi Clinic to discuss the future of the building that she had brightened with pink many years ago.
Derzis stated that the building would be sold. It will be sad, though she accomplished her purpose. Many women had their abortions there.