The Fight to Protect Abortion Access Amid the Pandemic
June 15 2020
It wasn’t much past 8 a.m. on a Saturday morning in late April, and anti-choice protesters outside the Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the only abortion clinic in Mississippi, were already cantankerous: There were three men with bullhorns, including one on top of a ladder; a 1,200-watt speaker pointing toward the clinic’s front door; and another protester blowing a shofar. “Welcome to the circus,” said Kim Gibson, a clinic escort who works to keep the mayhem away from patients.
Even as the coronavirus pandemic has gripped the nation (new cases are still on the rise in Mississippi), protesters disregarded Jackson’s stay-at-home order and have consistently failed to wear masks or keep appropriate social distance — not only from one another, but also from patients, whose cars they readily approach in an effort to “counsel” them and hand out anti-abortion propaganda.
OPINION: Abortion is Essential, Especially Now During COVID-19 Crisis
By Kimberly Kelly, Ph.D
Saturday, April 11, 2020
As the global pandemic of COVID-19 spreads across the nation, states are engaged in legitimate efforts to reserve personal protective equipment supplies for hospitals and other critical health care sites by delaying non-essential surgical procedures. “Non-essential” means procedures like elective plastic surgery, having one’s teeth capped or a tonsillectomy—procedures wherein a delay will not result in serious or permanent harm to the individual.
In a disingenuous move, politicians in Mississippi and several other southern states have sought to classify abortion as “non-essential,” attempting to make access difficult if not impossible.
Every State That’s Tried to Ban Abortion Over the Coronavirus
By Hannah Gold
Apr. 7, 2020
Just days into the national surge of coronavirus cases, as an increasing amount of states called for nonessential businesses to shut down, some Republican legislators began using the public health crisis as an opportunity to deny health care to patients seeking abortions. The tactic has been replicated in the past couple of weeks, with governors in several states peddling the cynical argument that temporarily banning abortion will help shore up their supply of medical gear for hospitals overwhelmed by the pandemic.
So far, lawmakers in five states — Ohio, Texas, Alabama, Iowa, and Oklahoma — have attempted to halt abortion services indefinitely. As of now, only the Texas order has taken effect, and all of these temporary bans face strong legal challenges. Last week, providers in Alabama, Iowa, Ohio, and Oklahoma filed lawsuits to prevent the orders from taking effect in their states. A similar lawsuit was filed in Texas last week as well.
Abortion in the south: The 'escorts' who ward off protesters at Mississippi's lone clinic
‘Clinic escorts’ create a buffer between protesters and women arriving at the clinic as its role becomes ever more important
by Khushbu Shah in Jackson, Mississippi
Tue 13 Aug 2019
Kim Gibson wore a pastel rainbow-striped vest with the words “clinic escort” in bold, black letters as she glanced over at the arriving white van. She was irritated by the sudden appearance in Jackson of more Christian anti-abortion protesters in front of Mississippi’s lone abortion clinic.
She watched as the vehicle pulled up, letting out two sisters. They dropped picket signs onto the Jackson sidewalk before their mother drove off to park. When she walked back with her teenage son, Gibson yelled: “Shame what you do to these children. Shame, shame, shame.”
Millions of Women Already Live in a Post-Roe America: A Journey Through the Anti-Abortion South
January 18 2019
Video by Maisie Crow, Lauren Feeney
I met Danielle in the counseling room of the Jackson Women’s Health Organization in Jackson, Mississippi, which sits on a busy corner in the city’s arts district. Its vibrant pink paint job has earned it the name “the Pink House,” and it is the state’s only remaining abortion clinic.
Dressed in gray sweatpants and a T-shirt, Danielle looked pensive as she sat in a narrow room in the back of the building alongside 12 other women there for abortion care. Betty Thompson, a counselor who has worked at the clinic for 24 years, stood before the women, ready to walk them through the necessary paperwork and go over next steps.
The Last Clinics Standing
These six states show how the Supreme Court could end abortion access without overruling Roe v. Wade
by Jessica Arons
Oct 22, 2018
Following Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court, there was much discussion about the future of reproductive rights in the United States and whether his appointment could result in the overturning of Roe v. Wade. While that prospect remains a real threat, abortion could be made as good as illegal for millions of people long before that happens.
In 2016, the Supreme Court struck down abortion restrictions that would have closed most abortion clinics in Texas. Justice Anthony Kennedy was the swing vote in that case. With Kavanaugh confirmed as his replacement, the court could use the next abortion-rights case to eviscerate abortion access without explicitly overruling Roe.
Anti-Choice Activists Want You To Hate Abortion Providers Like Me
By Willie J. Parker
Oct 17, 2018
I believe the most important thing you can do for another human being is to help them in their time of need. That’s why I am proud to be an abortion provider. I wake up every day knowing that I am helping patients make decisions that are right for their health, their lives and their families.
Because I am a Black man, a physician and an abortion provider, anti-abortion activists have called me many ugly things. Protestors have hurled racial epithets at me and accused me of being a “race traitor.” They have also called me “Kermit Gosnell.”
What It Takes to Get an Abortion in the Most Restrictive U.S. State
By AUDREY CARLSEN, ASH NGU and SARA SIMON
JULY 20, 2018
With the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, Democrats and abortion rights groups have warned of a threat to Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 ruling that made abortion legal nationwide. Already, American women face increasingly different paths to getting an abortion, depending on their state.
“It doesn’t make a difference if it’s legal if it’s inaccessible,” said Diane Derzis, owner of Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the only remaining abortion clinic in Mississippi. “And it’s definitely inaccessible to many people.”
Why the Battle for Reproductive Rights Is Never Over
New abortion restrictions mock Roe v. Wade with an oddly ironic effect
By David S. Cohen
May 10, 2018
If you've been following the news surrounding reproductive rights recently, you'd be forgiven for asking yourself whether we're living in a world where Roe v. Wade was never decided. In 1973, the Supreme Court ruled that states cannot make abortion illegal before viability – back then this meant about 28 weeks into pregnancy, now it's about 24 weeks. And yet, in March, Mississippi passed a law banning abortion after 15 weeks. Last week, Iowa one-upped the Magnolia State, passing a law banning abortion after just six weeks. And South Carolina nearly topped both of them, coming close to passing a law banning all abortions except in the case of life threat, rape or incest. The only thing that stopped that law was a rarely successful Democratic filibuster that pushed the legislature too close to the end of its calendar. In other words, if the law had been considered earlier in the year, the state could have banned almost all abortions.