The only clinic practicing terminations of pregnancy in the state of Mississippi, at the heart of the historic reversal of the Supreme Court of the United States on abortion, closed its doors on Wednesday July 6.
The Jackson Women’s Health Organization, nicknamed the « pink house » because of the color of its walls, carried out its last interventions before the entry into force, Thursday, of a law prohibiting all the abortions in this poor and conservative State of the South.
“It’s a very tough day for us and for the last abortion clinic in Mississippi”a tweeted the Pink House Fundwhich collects donations to ensure the functioning of the institution. “It’s our last day fighting against everything and offering abortions where no one else could or wanted to. We are proud of the work done”he added.
The clinic has, in spite of itself, gained international notoriety by being at the initiative of the legal proceedings which led, on June 24, to the decision of the Supreme Court to bury its judgment Roe vs Wade which, since 1973, guaranteed the right of American women to have an abortion.
Abortion soon banned in half of the states
The establishment had, in fact, filed a complaint against a Mississippi law which reduced the legal deadlines for an abortion. The high court, deeply overhauled by Donald Trump, used this file to give each state the freedom to cancel or ban abortions on their soil. Thirteen states had anticipated this shift and passed laws designed to go into effect immediately.
The Mississippi law, adopted in 2007, carries penalties of up to ten years in prison for violations and only provides for an exception in the event of danger to the life of the mother, but not rape or of incest. The “Pink House” had asked the local justice to block this law but the courts refused, leaving it no other choice but to close.
Most neighboring states being just as hostile to abortion, pregnant women in Mississippi not wishing to continue their pregnancies will have to resort to the abortion pill alone or travel hundreds of miles to have an abortion in Illinois.
Elsewhere in the country, several other establishments have closed. The Whole Woman’s Health group announced on Wednesday that it was closing its four clinics in Texas to open a new one in the neighboring state of New Mexico. Missouri’s only clinic in St. Louis, operated by the Planned Parenthood organization, also ceased all procedures, as of June 23. Legal battles have delayed the deadline in Louisiana, for example, but eventually access to abortion should disappear in half of the American states.