Mississippi’s only abortion clinic is expected to close in the coming days following the recent Supreme Court decision that overturns Roe v. Wade.
The Supreme Court has sided with the state of Mississippi in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case, overturning 50 years of precedent and revoking the constitutional right to an abortion. Outside of the state’s only abortion clinic following the release of the decision, anti-abortion rights advocates attempted to dissuade patients from entering the facility.
The clinic remains open, but a 2007 trigger law in Mississippi is set to ban nearly all abortions by the end of next week. Attorney General Lynn Fitch submitted the required certification to Mississippi's Administrative Bulletin Monday morning. The 2007 will go into effect 10 days later, which will spell the end for the clinic.
Services at the Pink House will continue until then. Derenda Hancock is a co-organizer with the Pinkhouse Defenders, a non-profit that helps patients safely and privately get in and out of the clinic. She says protesters they encountered Friday morning were harder to deal with than usual.
Hancock says “I mean it really wasn’t as many of them, but they were showing out like crazy. They brought the ladders so they could look over the privacy fence and look into the clinic. Today they were literally blocking the traffic, and then after the decision came down, they stood here and they stopped people and told them that the clinic was closed, and abortion was illegal in the state. And tried to keep them from going up the road.”
Dianne Derzis owns the Jackson Women’s Health Organization and says they will continue to offer patients care as long as they can. But she says they have begun planning their relocation to New Mexico.
“The fact that we’re not here doesn’t mean that we’re not going to see Mississippi women and whoever needs us. There are many funds to make sure that there’s money for women to travel, childcare and abortion service mondy. The Pinkhouse Fund is our non-profit that will also help pay for that, but there are other funds.”
Advocates say the abortion ban in Mississippi will disproportionately affect women of color and those with low income. Without assistance for travel to other states, they say some women are likely to have unlicensed and potentially dangerous abortions.