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Mississippi before the Supreme Court: a direct challenge to the right to abortion


There are regulars like Coleman Boyd, doctor and father of a large family. Some of his children accompany him. The older ones try, like him and other adults, to intercept the patients who unload in the parking lot of the clinic. They warn them that they will have to answer to the Doomsday… unless they go back.

The owner of the Pink house is a woman, Diane Derzis, who wanted to provide a decent environment all over the South because she had kept a humiliating memory of her own experience in Alabama, shortly after the legalization of abortion in the United States.

Members of the Defenders of Pink house, volunteers from a non-profit organization created to support the clinic, rush to intervene, to reassure the patients and to guide them inside. In passing, they retort tit for tat to anti-abortion activists; they have also installed loudspeakers which broadcast rock music in order to muffle the religious hymns which emerge from similar devices from the street.

Alone and overwhelmed

A man and a woman face each other.

Derenda Hancock, co-organizer of Defenders of the Pink House, confronts Sonny, an anti-abortion activist.

Photo: TurnedNews.com / Anyck Béraud

Outside, the comings and goings are incessant. The license plates reveal that the patients on that day came not only from Mississippi, but also from Kansas, Louisiana and even Texas. This state now prohibits women from having an abortion after six weeks of pregnancy.

The Supreme Court did not intervene to block this law, which is based on denunciation and which violates the right to abortion. But since then, she has been seized of the case by the Biden administration.

The co-organizer of the Defenders of Pink house, Derenda Hancock, explains that we had to adapt. We were able to retain the services of two other doctors, so now we can see patients five days a week. Before, we could only operate three days a week, she explains.

When the law came into effect in Texas, it became surreal: up to 80 women came to see us every day. But now, with a longer schedule, we have an average of 45 to 55 patients per day.

A quote from Derenda Hancock, Pink House Defenders co-organizer

She specifies that she also allows the doctors to enter through another door: All of our doctors come from out of state […] No doctor in Mississippi wants to perform abortions, because of the stigma and threats.

Pitfalls for years in Mississippi

Other such establishments in Mississippi have not been able to resist financially the pressure exerted by the multiple regulations imposed by the state over the years in its desire to restrict access to abortion. Let us note, among others, the obligation to widen certain corridors… which has nothing to do with the safety of the patients, plague the pro-abortion.

A stop sign is in the foreground of the Mississippi Capitol.

The Mississippi Capitol, under Republican control. This state has strived for years to reduce access to abortion, legalized across the country in 1973 by the Roe v. Wade of the United States Supreme Court.

Photo: TurnedNews.com / Anyck Béraud

And women who want to terminate their pregnancy don’t have it easy either.

For example, they have to make two appointments 24 hours apart. The first time is to meet with a counselor and to have an ultrasound: the state wants them to see their fetus. The second time is for the abortion itself. And it’s not in everyone’s wallet, especially if they live outside of the town of Jackson and have to think about transportation, housing or child care when they need it. ‘they are already mothers.

The audience of all hopes for anti-abortion …

This hearing before a Supreme Court now dominated by conservative judges thanks to the three appointments made by Donald Trump when he was president, constitutes the scenario which the Mississippi dreamed of.

It will be a historic day, Governor Tate Reeves told an audience of anti-abortion worshipers at a Jackson church last night.

And he recalled what he had sworn to do by taking up his post.

I promised God that I would do everything in my power to make Mississippi the safest state for unborn children.

A quote from Tate Reeves, Governor of Mississippi
Governor Tate Reeves, in an interview with TurnedNews.com, in front of a Christmas tree.

Governor Tate Reeves holds a Bible with a Mississippi seal on the cover, on his way to the specially organized “Prayer for Life” in the run-up to the state’s appeal to the nation’s Supreme Court.

Photo: TurnedNews.com / Anyck Béraud

Whenever the state tries to impose severe restrictions on abortion, it is dismissed in federal courts. Because its laws violate the federal right to abort until the viability of the fetus, or until about 24 weeks of pregnancy, according to the landmark 1973 ruling (Roe v. Wade) of the nation’s highest court.

But Mississippi maintains that threshold of viability no longer holds water today and that a fetus can live to be 15 weeks old. This is how he justified his law adopted in 2018, which prohibits abortion after this period (even in cases of rape or incest) and which he will defend on appeal before the Supreme Court. In addition, it calls for each state to be able to legislate on abortion and therefore favors the repeal of federal law.

… and all the dangers for pro-abortion

If this right is repealed, Mississippi and other states have a law in reserve that could make abortion automatically illegal (immediately or in the short term) in much of the American South and Midwest, as we do. explains sociology professor Kimberly Kelly, who teaches at Starkville and has studied this debate for the past 15 years.

This would be a catastrophic scenario for all women who want to have an abortion, especially for those who already have difficulty obtaining a termination of pregnancy, which is the case with a number of African American women, for example. . Among these groups, the rates of difficult pregnancies and infant mortality are high, unlike the rate of medical coverage.

A basketball hoop on a street in a predominantly black neighborhood in Jackson.

Mississippi is the poorest state in the United States. This poverty affects twice as many black households as it does white households.

Photo: TurnedNews.com / Anyck Béraud

And abortion is not free in Mississippi: it is only covered or reimbursed in certain cases, especially if there is an abnormality in the fetus or when the mother’s life is in danger. And again, not all health insurance plans offer this coverage.

Meager financial resources

Organizations therefore collect donations to give a financial boost to women, for example theAccess Reproductive Care (ARC) Southeast, founded by African Americans and covering the southern United States. At the end of the line, a message announces that for a few days, the coffers have been empty and that they will remain so until the end of November. We therefore invite people to call back on December 2.

Listening to this message, Michelle Colon shrugs her shoulders with a pout of annoyance, but without being surprised. She created in Jackson the organization SHERO (Sisters Helping Every Woman Rise and Organize), which serves among other things as a link between available resources and women who wish to have an abortion.

Ms. Colon explains that theBOW was already pulling the devil by the tail even before the number of requests for help from Texans climbed.

A symbolic mask

Masks on which the states of the American flag are represented by uteri instead of stars symbolize the goal of making abortion completely accessible across the country.

Photo: TurnedNews.com / Anyck Béraud

Michelle Colon is already developing plans B: she is mobilizing her troops in anticipation of the post-Roe vs. Wade era, she says. Because she firmly believes that anti-abortion activists have already won. She also launches that Superbowl! “,” text “:” this Supreme Court hearing is their Superbowl! “}}”>this Supreme Court hearing is their Super Bowl!

The activist warns that she intends to continue the fight until abortion is free everywhere in the United States and until this right is enshrined in the American Constitution. Just like that of carrying arms, dearly defended by the same people who want to put an end to the voluntary termination of pregnancy in the United States., she quips.

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