BY CHARLOTTE ALTER/CLARKSDALE, MISS.
AUGUST 14, 2023
Ashley just had a baby. She’s sitting on the couch in a relative’s apartment in Clarksdale, Miss., wearing camo-print leggings and fiddling with the plastic hospital bracelets still on her wrists. It’s August and pushing 90 degrees, which means the brown patterned curtains are drawn, the air conditioner is on high, and the room feels like a hiding place. Peanut, the baby boy she delivered two days earlier, is asleep in a car seat at her feet, dressed in a little blue outfit. Ashley is surrounded by family, but nobody is smiling. One relative silently eats lunch in the kitchen, her two siblings stare glumly at their phones, and her mother, Regina, watches from across the room. Ashley was discharged from the hospital only hours ago, but there are no baby presents or toys in the room, no visible diapers or ointments or bottles. Almost nobody knows that Peanut exists, because almost nobody knew that Ashley was pregnant. She is 13 years old. Soon she’ll start seventh grade.
Hundreds of women who used drugs while pregnant have faced criminal charges — even when they deliver healthy babies.
By CARY ASPINWALL, The Marshall Project
July 25, 2023
When Quitney Armstead learned she was pregnant while locked up in a rural Alabama jail, she made a promise — to God and herself — to stay clean.
She had struggled with addiction and post-traumatic stress disorder for nearly a decade, since serving in the Iraq War. But when she found out she was pregnant with her third child, in October 2018, she resolved: “I want to be a mama to my kids again.”
"I love my child to the ends of the earth. That doesn’t make what happened any less unfair.”
June 30, 2023
By Danielle Campoamor
Laurie Bertram Roberts remembers the emotion that consumed her when, as a 19-year-old single mom of two, she needed an abortion.
She was only three months postpartum and recovering from a C-section when she found out she was pregnant again. She's now 45, but vividly remembers desperately searching for the nearest clinic, poring over every weathered phonebook she could find as her newborn slept in her arms.
Oct. 24, 2022
By MICHAEL GOLDBERG, The Associated Press
GREENWOOD, Miss. (AP) — In Mississippi, where health officials expect 5,000 more births each year as a result of the Supreme Court ruling upending abortion rights, children are more likely to die before their first birthday than in any other state.
Mississippi has the nation’s highest fetal mortality rate, highest infant mortality rate, highest pre-term birth rate and is among the worst states for maternal mortality. Black women are nearly three times more likely to die due to childbirth than white women in Mississippi.
July 7, 2022
Mississippi's last abortion clinic — and the one at the center of the Supreme Court case used to overturn Roe v. Wade — shut its doors for the last time.
Earlier this week, the Jackson Women's Health Organization lost their bid to temporarily block the state's trigger law that bans most abortions from going into effect. Now, they are packing up and moving out, Diane Derzis who owned the clinic said.
The Jackson Women’s Health Organization lost its case against the state, with the justices ruling to overturn ‘Roe vs Wade.’ The center, which has been targeted by pro-life protesters, must now close its doors. But it plans to reopen in New Mexico
Luis Pablo Beauregard
JUN 27, 2022
The Jackson Women’s Health Organization is known in the capital of Mississippi as the Pink House. Its fame reached new heights on Friday after it lost a Supreme Court against the state of Mississippi over its 2018 law that banned nearly all abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. In a 6-3 ruling, the conservative-led court overturned Roe v. Wade, the landmark ruling that established the constitutional right to abortion in 1973.
The news – while expected – still came as a shock to Diane Derzis, the 68-year-old owner of the Jackson Women’s Health Organization, who says she does not intend to give up. “Women have always had abortions. It has been an honor and a privilege to be here,” she said outside the clinic, before revealing that she plans to continue operating at the Pink House for 10 more days and then open a new clinic in Las Cruces, New Mexico, 1,600 kilometers (373 miles) from Jackson. Derzis, who has been providing reproductive health services to women for 46 years, intends to continue serving Mississippi patients at the new center.
by Isabelle Taft
June 8, 2022
When Mississippi asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, it argued that a long tradition of state restrictions on abortion in the U.S. “defeats any claim of a deeply rooted right” to an abortion.
Yet for all but 21 of its 156 years as a state prior to Roe, Mississippi law technically permitted abortion for any reason until about 16 weeks of pregnancy.
By Hanna Krueger Globe Staff
Updated May 21, 2022
The Jackson Women’s Health Organization, known colloquially as the Pink House for its flamingo-colored stucco exterior, is the only abortion clinic in the state of Mississippi.
It will almost certainly be the last.
A recent medical school graduate reflects on the intersection of race and reproductive rights
By Christina Sturdivant Sani
May 11, 2022
Sherry Reddix is a 2022 graduate of Tufts University School of Medicine and a future abortion provider. She will be starting a residency in family medicine in California. This interview has been edited and condensed.
I’m from Mississippi, and my whole family is in the field of medicine. My aunt, uncle and father are all physicians, and my mom is a nurse. My uncle was actually nominated to the State Board of Health in Mississippi in 2012. Then his nomination was blocked because he served as the emergency on-call physician for the abortion clinic in Jackson, the clinic at the center of the current Supreme Court case. It was my senior year of high school, and my phone was blowing up with calls and texts. My grandma was like ‘Uncle Carl is on Rachel Maddow!’
In anticipation of the court’s decision, a frenzy of legislative activity to shut down access to abortion forms a picture of a post-Roe America.
By Kate Zernike
March 7, 2022
Both sides of the abortion debate anticipate that come July, the Supreme Court will have overturned Roe v. Wade and with it the constitutional right to abortion, handing anti-abortion activists a victory they have sought for five decades. But from Florida to Idaho, Republican-led state legislatures are not waiting: They are operating as if Roe has already been struck down, advancing new restrictions that aim to make abortion illegal in as many circumstances as possible.
Under Roe, states cannot prohibit abortion before a fetus is viable outside the womb — around 23 weeks into pregnancy. But bills moving through legislatures are outlawing abortion entirely, or at six, 12 or 15 weeks of gestation. On Thursday, Florida passed a 15-week ban even as opponents warned it was unconstitutional so long as Roe stands. In Oklahoma, a Senate committee approved a bill that would prohibit abortion starting 30 days after the “probable” start of a woman’s last monthly period.