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Women traveling hundreds of miles for appointments at state’s only abortion clinic
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A consultation room at the Jackson Women's Health Organization, the only abortion clinic in Mississippi 
Desare C. Frazier/MPB News 

Mississippi’s only abortion clinic has expanded its hours to keep pace with the demand for services.  Many women are coming to Jackson from out of state because appointments can be hard to come by where they live. 

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Inside Mississippi's only abortion clinic in Jackson, called the Pink House, women are listening closely to staff as they explain protocols for the procedure.  This session is a consultation.  Mississippi law requires certain information be shared with patients and they must wait at least 24 hours before having an abortion. 

“You have a red folder you’re taking a pill.  On the day you come back, eat a light meal before you come.  You can bring your cell but they won’t allow cell phones back here due to privacy reasons.  We have a basket right there you can leave it in.  You can leave it in your car whichever you prefer,  Staff said. 

Some women are here from out of state because they couldn’t get appointments closer to home.  The Texas six-week abortion ban has left many abortion clinics there unable to provide the services.  So, nearby states are seeing an influx of women seeking to obtain one.  Lori, which isn't her real name, doesn’t want to be identified nor the state where she lives.

“I was not able to get an appointment within a time frame to be able to take the pill.  I would have had to have a surgical abortion in the state that I was in.  So, they had appointments available here,” 

According to the Jackson Women’s Health Organization website, women can take prescribed pills up to 11 weeks to end a pregnancy.  The clinic will perform surgical procedures as well.  Abortions can be done here up to 16 weeks.  Currently the state law allows them to 20 weeks of pregnancy. 

“Life is precious. We would love to help you choose life. We’ll help you,” Chisholm said.

Outside anti-abortion activist Dana Chisholm of Clinton, is near the parking lot trying to convince women not to go through with an abortion.  She's a former president of Pro-Life Mississippi and comes to the clinic often. 

“I was unplanned back a long time ago and I had an unplanned daughter and I’ve had an unplanned grandchild. And that would be whole generations of people that would not be here if it were not for the grace of God,"  Chisholm said.   

December 1, the U.S. Supreme Court will consider oral arguments over Mississippi’s 15 week abortion ban. Those opposed to abortion ultimately seek to overturn Roe v. Wade.  But organizations in the state who support a woman's right to choose say if legal abortions are no longer available, they'll find other ways to help women access safe abortions.