Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant gave his State of the State speech and said he wants to make his vehemently pro-life state even more strongly pro-life. The state has passed virtually every pro-life limit on abortion imaginable, driving down the number of abortions in the process, but Bryan wants to go further.
“On this unfortunate anniversary of Roe v. Wade, my goal is to end abortion in Mississippi,” he said.
Moving towards that goal, Mississippi legislators introduced several bills that would protect unborn children, including a state House bill sponsored by Rep. Andy Gipson (R) would ban abortion after 20 weeks and one sponsored by Sen. Phillip Gandy (R) in the state Senate to do the same. Sen. Chris McDaniel (R) has introduced bills to ban abortions based on the race or sex of the unborn child.
As Cheryl Sullenger of Operation Rescue has written, pro-life advocates are working on shutting down the last abortion clinic that operates in it:
Not willing to wait for seven more months to protect women, the Mississippi Department of Health has filed an appeal to the court injunction that is currently barring it from enforcing an abortion law that would close the last remaining abortion clinic, Jackson Women’s Health Organization (JWHO).
“In light of a medical emergency that landed an abortion patient in the hospital on August 7, we are relieved to hear that the State of Mississippi is moving swiftly to protect women from a shoddy abortion business that is out of compliance with the law,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue.
The appeal, filed on August 23, will seek to set aside an injunction put in place by U.S. District Judge Daniel P. Jordan III last April that blocks the state from enforcing a law that requires abortionists to maintain hospital privileges within 30 miles of their abortion clinics. JWCO employs out-of-state abortionists whose applications for privileges have been rejected by local hospital for liability reasons. Because the abortionists leave the state after their abortion shifts, they are not available to provide continuity of care for patients experiencing complications, such as occurred earlier this month. This poses a safety hazard to women.
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The lawsuit filed by JWHO against the hospital privilege requirement is set for trial on March 3, 2014.
Meanwhile, four Mississippi pro-life groups have released a letter sent to the Mississippi Health Department demanding an investigation of the JWHO, which they say is in non-compliance with existing state laws related to abortion reporting.