Man, I Miss Personhood: Mississippi Might Become The First State Without An Abortion Clinic

abortionThe Personhood Amendment may have been the first irksome anti-choice measure to come out of Mississippi, outlawing most forms of hormonal birth control in addition to abortion. But with news that the state might become the first to have no operating abortion clinics, I’m yearning for the days of politicians telling me my hypothetical NuvaRing is illegal. IVF and birth control may be a quieter part of the discussion for now considering that the women of Mississippi have their constitutional rights — which are backed by the UN — officially hanging by a thread, or some certification.

Reuters reports that Mississippi lawmakers passed legislation requiring that abortion providers have hospital privileges and be board certified in obstetrics and gynecology (39 other states reportedly have these same requirements). The sole standing clinic in the state, Jackson Women’s Health Organization, has board-certified doctors and they applied for those hospital privileges in May. Hospitals though are not game to lend their support to this struggling clinic, as the climate is described as “very hostile, particularly for the hospitals.” But inspectors from the Mississippi Department of Health are set to come knocking early next week, and if the clinic doesn’t have those hospital privileges, the doors may end up closed.

There is talk of a 10-day grace period in which Jackson Women’s Health Organization can present a plan to “remedy their situation.” But Republican Sam Mims, who sponsored the original law, is so passionate about the unborn that he wants that grace period revoked:

Republican Representative Sam Mims said he does not “want to give the facility 10 extra days to perform abortions” and is consulting attorneys on the legality of such a move.

Mims said the law is intended to protect patients by ensuring that physicians are certified and able to follow them into a local hospital in emergency cases, but added if it also “causes Mississippi to have fewer abortions, then that is a positive result.”

Since Mississippi has been slowly hemorrhaging abortion clinics since the 1980s, women have apparently been heading to Alabama, Tennessee, Arkansas and Louisiana for their right to choose, at least those who can afford to. If things go south for Jackson Women’s Health Organization, somebody should tell those clinics to invest in larger waiting rooms.

(photo: Ryan Rodrick Beiler /

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