Mississippi governor Phil Bryant was elected on a platform that included ending abortion in the state of Mississippi. It appears that he may have just succeeded. You see, Mississippi today has only one abortion clinic. Because of the harassment doctors who perform abortions face, the clinic brings in doctors from other states on a regular basis. Well, Bryant has just signed a law that essentially mandates that all doctors who work at in-state abortion clinics must be local. You can see the problem here.
The Mississippi law requires all physicians who work at in-state abortion clinics to be board-certified with admitting privileges at a local hospital.
Mississippi once had several abortion clinics. Only one remains: the Jackson Women’s Health Organization, in the state capital. Owner Diane Derzis has said it will be difficult for her doctors to obtain local admitting privileges, since many of them live out of state and commute to the clinic, fearing harassment by members of Mississippi’s antiabortion movement.
Bryant, a Republican, was elected in November after running as an outspoken abortion foe. “I believe that all human life is precious, and as governor, I will work to ensure that the lives of the born and unborn are protected in Mississippi,” he said in a statement Monday.
Mississippi isn’t a small state. It’s pretty big. And now it looks like it may be the first state in the country without a single abortion clinic. Mississippi is the state that rejected the highly touted personhood amendment 55% to 45% just last year. Failing to ban abortion that way, the governor has found another way: regulating abortion out of existence.
Anti-abortion activists have three tactics available to them. First, overturning Roe v. Wade. That hasn’t happened, but in today’s court anything could happen. Second, regulating abortion out of existence, and third, scaring or shaming women out of having abortions. The anti-abortion movement has focused on those last two tactics, and has been more and more successful.
I recently read an article on what it was like to get an abortion in 1978. The contrast between then and today couldn’t be more stark.