Mississippi Becomes Case Study for Reducing Abortions Through Legislation

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 28, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Mississippi Becomes Case Study for Reducing Abortions Through Legislation Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
December 28, 2004

Jackson, MS (LifeNews.com) — Doing what was thought impossible, the state of Mississippi has found a way to significantly reduce the number of abortions despite the fact that the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision allowing abortions still stands.

Thanks in part to a plethora of pro-life legislation, that has helped lead to the closing of all but one abortion business in the state, abortions in Mississippi have decreased by half in the last decade.

After peaking at 8,814 in 1991, the number of abortions in 2002 fell to just 3,605.

Even one abortion is too many for pro-life groups that have been working in the state, but the sharp decline is cause for celebration.

"We don’t need to wait for the Supreme Court to outlaw abortion," says Pat Cartrette, executive director of Pro-Life Mississippi.

Her group has been able to enact so many pro-life laws, that there’s not much left that it can do in the legislative arena.

Mississippi has a sweeping conscience clause allowing any medical professional to opt out of participating in an abortion, it is one of two states that requires both parents to give consent before an abortion, and it requires abortion practitioners to tell women about abortion’s risks and alternatives.

The state also passed an unborn victims law that targets criminals such as Scott Peterson who kill or injure an unborn child as a result of attacking a pregnant woman.

Those laws have contributed to the abortion decline, according to an attorney with Americans United for Life.

"The dramatic decrease in abortions shows that life-affirming laws and public policy can save lives," said Nikolas T. Nikas, general counsel for Americans United for Life, added.

Dorinda Bordlee, AUL’s senior legislative counsel, told LifeNews.com that "the people of Mississippi understand that abortion destroys human life and facilitates the sexual exploitation of women."

"They see that abortion is a tragedy for everyone involved, and they have succeeded in providing abortion alternatives, partially funded by their Choose Life license plate," Bordlee said.

Jackson Women’s Health Organization, located in the state capital, is the only abortion facility left in the state. At one time, seven abortion businesses operated there.

Susan Hill, a North Carolina-based businesswoman owns several abortion facilities, including the one in Mississippi. She says pro-life groups have had a field day thanks to a strongly pro-life state legislature.

"It’s the perfect laboratory for any restriction — there’s no way, politically, that it won’t sail through the legislature," she told the Associated Press.

Other states such as South Carolina and Kentucky have seen a similar decrease in the number of abortions performed following the passage of numerous pro-life laws.

Related web sites:
Americans United for Life – https://www.aul.org
Pro-Life Mississippi – https://www.prolifemississippi.org