Long Drives, Costly Flights, And Wearying Waits: What Abortion Requires In The South

August 2, 2021

Just a quick walk through the parking lot of Choices-Memphis Center for Reproductive Health, in this legendary music mecca, speaks volumes about access to abortion in the American South. Parked alongside the polished SUVs and weathered sedans with Tennessee license plates are cars from Mississippi, Arkansas, Florida and, on many days, Alabama, Georgia and Texas.

Choices is one of two abortion clinics in the Memphis metro area, with a population of 1.3 million. While that might not seem like much for women seeking a commonplace medical procedure, it represents a wealth of access compared with Mississippi, which has just one abortion clinic for the entire state of 3 million people.

Continued: https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2021/08/02/1022860226/long-drives-costly-flights-and-wearying-waits-what-abortion-requires-in-the-sout

Republicans Urge Supreme Court to Topple Roe, Slash Abortion Rights

By Greg Stohr
July 29, 2021

A cascade of Republicans called on the U.S. Supreme Court to roll back constitutional abortion protections, potentially by overruling the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized the procedure nationwide.

In a brief filed Thursday, 228 GOP members of Congress urged the court to uphold Mississippi’s ban on abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy -- and overturn Roe along the way if necessary. A separate brief from 12 Republican governors asked the court to toss out its abortion-rights precedents, arguing that “the authority to regulate abortion should be returned to the states.”

Continued: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-07-29/republicans-urge-high-court-to-topple-roe-slash-abortion-rights

Mississippi asks Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade in upcoming case

By  Robert Barnes
July 22, 2021

Mississippi is asking the Supreme Court to overrule Roe v. Wade in order to uphold the state’s restrictions on abortion access, and to renounce the court’s landmark holding a half-century ago that the Constitution protects a woman’s right to obtain an abortion.

The state’s bold request is in a brief filed Thursday that seeks to persuade the court it should approve a law that would ban most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, far earlier than now allowed.

Continued: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/mississippi-abortion-supreme-court-roe-v-wade/2021/07/22/9b30cb8a-eb23-11eb-97a0-a09d10181e36_story.html

Black activist wards off protesters so women can access Mississippi’s sole abortion clinic

Bracey Harris
Thu, June 10, 2021

JACKSON, Miss. — Asia Brown doesn't expect subtlety from the protesters who congregate outside the Jackson Women's Health Organization, always with the same goal in mind — to stop those heading inside from having abortions.

She watched this year as a woman with a license plate for one of the state's public universities pulled up to the pink-hued facility, the sole abortion clinic in the state.

Continued: https://www.yahoo.com/news/outside-mississippis-only-abortion-clinic-083019166.html

We’re Mississippi’s Last Abortion Clinic, and We’re Braced for the Worst

June 9, 2021
By Shannon Brewer

JACKSON, Miss. — I could see the pain on the patient’s face as soon as she walked through the door of the abortion clinic where I work. She was unbearably sick from pregnancy complications and had been in and out of the hospital for weeks. She had just driven almost 200 miles to reach us because there are so few abortion clinics in the South. Like most of the patients who come through my clinic, she thought she’d be able to get an abortion that day.

I had to tell her that under Mississippi law, patients like her cannot get an abortion on their first visit to a clinic. Instead, they have to sit through state-mandated “counseling” — visits that can take several hours. Then they have to come back another day to get the pills for their medication abortion or have their procedure. Often, patients are not able to make that second appointment until the following week or later because we’re booked up or because they can’t make arrangements for child care or get time off work again.

Continued: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/06/09/opinion/abortion-mississippi-supreme-court.html

USA – The Stigma of “Late-Term Abortions” Is the Point

“It’s just normal folks who end up getting pushed back and pushed back and pushed back.”

JUNE 3, 2021

When the Supreme Court decided recently to consider Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban, Marjorie Dannenfelser from Susan B. Anthony List said: “This is a landmark opportunity for the Supreme Court to recognize the right of states to protect unborn children from the horrors of painful late-term abortions.”

Dannenfelser’s choice to invoke “late-term abortions” was pointed. Typically, the phrase refers to abortions performed after 21 weeks, but I’ve seen anti-abortion advocates in particular use “late term” in reference to abortions anywhere after 15 weeks. Crucially, there is no real definition or medical designation for what constitutes a late-term abortion, so it’s used somewhat haphazardly. Medical experts also criticize the term for implying that abortions are taking place after a pregnancy reaches “term” at 37 weeks—which does not happen—or a point in pregnancy referred to by obstetricians as “late term,” up to 41 weeks—which also does not happen.

Continued: https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2021/06/definition-late-term-abortions-mississippi-15-week-ban-supreme-court/

Anti-abortion movement bullish as legal campaign reaches US supreme court

A case that could undermine the landmark Roe v Wade ruling and a punitive Texas law are the culmination of a decades-long push

Jessica Glenza, Reuters Tue 25 May 2021

The anti-abortion movement in the US is emboldened and optimistic after the supreme court announced it would hear a direct challenge to laws underpinning the right to abortion in the US, and Texas enacted a law intended to ban abortion after six weeks.

The high court decision to take up the case and the Texas move come during the most hostile year for reproductive rights in the nearly half-century since pregnant people won the constitutional right to choose whether to terminate a pregnancy in the landmark 1973 case Roe v Wade.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/may/25/anti-abortion-movement-bullish-us-supreme-court

USA – A culture war with real consequences is coming

Ronald Brownstein
Tue May 25, 2021

(CNN) One of the original culture war conflicts may be poised for a resurgence -- with potentially explosive political consequences.

The Supreme Court's recent decision to consider the legality of Mississippi's restrictive law prohibiting abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy could trigger the most serious and sustained political debate over the procedure since the final decades of the 20th century. And that could dramatically widen the already gaping demographic and geographic fissures between red and blue America.

Continued: https://www.cnn.com/2021/05/25/politics/abortion-mississippi-supreme-court-culture-war/index.html

Mississippi’s ‘Pink House’ ground zero in U.S. abortion rights fight

Gabriella Borter, Reuters
May 23, 2021

JACKSON — For eight years, Derenda Hancock has ushered women from their cars to the doors of Mississippi’s only abortion clinic, donning a rainbow vest as she shields them from protesters waving religious pamphlets and shouting “turn back!” through bullhorns.

Hancock, a 62-year-old part-time waitress, grew accustomed to repeated attempts by lawmakers and anti-abortion activists to block access to abortions at the Jackson Women’s Health Organization where she leads the clinic’s volunteer escorts.

Continued: https://nationalpost.com/pmn/news-pmn/crime-pmn/mississippis-pink-house-ground-zero-in-u-s-abortion-rights-fight

USA – The potential silver lining for supporters of abortion rights

The Supreme Court could be on the verge of gutting or overturning Roe v. Wade. But that wouldn’t be the end of the story.

By Mary Ziegler
May 20, 2021

The Supreme Court agreed this week to hear the most significant abortion case in decades, and abortion-rights supporters are panicking.

Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health involves a Mississippi law banning abortion at or after 15 weeks of pregnancy, with exceptions for some medical emergencies and severe fetal abnormalities. Most abortions — over 92 percent, according to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — occur in the first trimester, and if the Mississippi law is allowed to stand, those wouldn’t be blocked. But pro-choice Americans have reason to be concerned. To uphold Mississippi’s law, the court’s conservative six-justice majority would have to overturn at least part of Roe v. Wade and the abortion-rights cases that followed it. That’s because Roe recognized a right to choose abortion before fetal viability — the point at which survival outside the womb is possible — which is usually somewhere between 22 and 24 weeks. Because Mississippi’s ban would kick in much earlier, the court will be able to uphold it only by eliminating Roe’s language about fetal viability or by reversing Roe altogether.

Continued: https://www.bostonglobe.com/2021/05/20/opinion/potential-silver-lining-supporters-abortion-rights/