Abortion and Reproductive Rights in Mississippi | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Abortion and Reproductive Rights in Mississippi

A collection of stories on reproductive rights in the state and Mississippi's only abortion clinic.

Politics

AG Candidates Praise 'Heartbeat Bill,' Anti-LGBT Laws, Tort Reform

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About 50 people showed up at a venue that would seat 1,200 on Wednesday night to hear Republican candidates explain why voters should elect them as Mississippi's next attorney general—the state's chief legal officer who holds the power to bring or defend against lawsuits on behalf of the state.

Personhood

Southern ‘Defiance’: The Fight for Roe Rages in Mississippi

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Earlier this month, Sen. Joey Fillingane, R-Sumrall, who sponsored an anti-abortion bill in Mississippi this year, told the Jackson Free Press that those laws are indeed intended to trigger a Roe "test case" before the Supreme Court.

Editor's Note

EDITOR'S NOTE: Mississippi Male Leaders Again Pretend to Value ‘Life’

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Some things are universal, or should be. That includes never forcing a woman to have a child, lose her contraception or forbid a safe way to help her have a baby.

Personhood

As Mississippi Debates Abortion, Maternal Mortality Remains High

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In Mississippi, pregnant women already die at higher rates than in most of the country, and the state is near the top in infant mortality.

Personhood

'I Am Pissed Off': Mississippians Rage Against Abortion Bans

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Opponents of abortion bans nationwide held #StopTheBans rallies across the country on Tuesday.

Personhood

Mississippi Six-Week Abortion Ban 'Smacks of Defiance,' Federal Judge Says

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U.S. District Court Judge Carlton Reeves did not rule on whether or not he will block Mississippi's six-week abortion ban in federal court today. He said he will issue a ruling at a later date on whether to block it from taking effect.

National

Louisiana 'Heartbeat Bill' Relies on Mississippi Taxpayers' Legal Defense

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The Louisiana Senate passed a six-week abortion ban modeled after the one Mississippi passed in March, but with one caveat: If the Louisiana one becomes law, it will not go into effect unless Mississippi's fetal heartbeat law survives a federal court challenge.

Personhood

Democrats, Activists 'Infuriated' as Hood Defends Six-Week Abortion Ban

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Abortion-rights activists and some Democratic leaders are unhappy with Mississippi's leading Democratic candidate for governor, state Attorney General Jim Hood, after his office filed a brief in defense of the state's new six-week abortion ban.

Personhood

The Pink House Deals With ‘Heartbeat Bill’ Fallout

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"Jesus loves you, mommy. Mommy, please don't kill me," a child's voice pleads from a large speaker system outside Mississippi's last abortion clinic, which is known among its defenders as "The Pink House."

Personhood

Mississippi AG Candidate Vows to Defend Six-Week Abortion Ban

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State Rep. Mark Baker, a Republican candidate for Mississippi attorney general, is pledging to take the state's recently passed abortion ban all the way to the Supreme Court.

Personhood

Gov. Bryant Signs Abortion Ban in Deadliest State for Babies

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With Mississippi House Speaker Philip Gunn and Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves at his side, Republican Gov. Phil Bryant signed the nation's most restrictive abortion bill into law on Thursday morning.

Personhood

Legislative Update: Fetal Heartbeats, Teacher Pay, Tort Reform

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Daniella Dismuke-Roja is an activist who is challenging laws that she believes threaten the rights of Mississippians. On March 14, she traveled to Jackson and joined a group of Democratic state legislators and Planned Parenthood activists to protest the state's fetal heartbeat bill.

Cover

Mississippi: The Battleground for Roe v. Wade’s Future?

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Red states, emboldened by the Trump regime, are passing hardline anti-abortion laws aimed at triggering a reconsideration of Roe at the nation's highest court—laws like the fetal heartbeat bills the Mississippi House and Senate passed on Feb. 13.

Personhood

Dem Lt. Gov. Hopeful Voted for Abortion Ban So White Dems Don't Go Extinct

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Hit with a wave of anger from his own party after he voted for a bill that essentially bans abortions after six weeks, Mississippi House Rep. Jay Hughes offered a defense: He did it so white Democrats like himself don't go the way of the dinosaur.

Politics

Legislative Update: Tort Reform, Heartbeat Bills, Teacher Pay Moves Forward

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On Feb. 13, the House and Senate passed "fetal heartbeat" bills, which ban abortions after a heartbeat is detected. Doctors can detect heartbeats as early as six weeks, making it a de facto ban on almost all abortions.

Personhood

Fetal Heartbeat Ban 'A Direct Challenge to Roe,' Activists Warn

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Abortion-rights activists are warning that Mississippi's fetal-heartbeat bills, and others like them, are part of an effort to instigate a U.S. Supreme Court case that could overturn constitutional protections for reproductive rights.

Politics

#MSLeg: Broadband, Abortion, Prison Reform

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On Jan. 31, legislators in the 
Mississippi House Education Committee advanced to the House floor a bill designed to help prepare schools for the worst: the possibility of gun violence.

Abortion

AG Hood Supports 15-Week Abortion Ban in Appeal to 5th Circuit

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Jim Hood, Mississippi's attorney general and a 2019 gubernatorial candidate, filed an appeal on behalf of the state's 15-week abortion ban on Dec. 17, about a month after U.S. District Court Judge Carlton Reeves blocked it.

Personhood

‘They Want a Roe Test Case’: 15-Week Abortion Ban Moving Forward

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For eight months, the nation's toughest abortion bill hung in limbo. The 2018 Mississippi Legislature sent the Gestational Age Act, called HB 1510, to Gov. Phil Bryant, who signed it into law on March 19.

Personhood

OPINION: Hello, Cindy, We See You on Women's Health and Abortion

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These past weeks Cindy Hyde-Smith has done a great job of yelling "abortion, abortion, abortion" every chance she gets, but the truth is that abortion is not at issue here.

Abortion

Governor Calls Abortion ‘Black Genocide,’ Defends Hyde-Smith on ‘Hanging’ Tape

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As state and national controversy swirls around U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith’s comment about a public hanging” in her race against an African American opponent, Gov. Phil Bryant opened a press conference this morning implying that black women are participating in “the genocide of 20 million African American children” through legal abortions

Health Care

Planned Parenthood Braces for Battle

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Federal funds cannot pay for abortions, but anti-abortion rights advocates and lawmakers object to funding Planned Parenthood at all with federal and state dollars due to the fact that they still offer abortions.

Abortion

OPINION: Anti-Abortion Laws Won’t Stop Abortions. Eradicating Poverty Could.

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"Making it more difficult for residents to access abortions won’t stop women from doing so. ... We must first address the No. 1 factor that appears to drive the demand for abortion: poverty."

Health Care

Clinic Widens Challenge of Mississippi Abortion Restrictions

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Mississippi's only abortion clinic is expanding its challenge of a state law that bans abortion after 15 weeks.

Health Care

Judge Blocks Newly Signed 15-Week Abortion Ban for 10 Days

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It took less than 24 hours for Mississippi's 15-week abortion ban to become law and then be stopped from taking effect.

Personhood

Reversing 'Roe'; Outside Group Uses Mississippi as 'Bait' to End Abortion

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The State of Mississippi's Republican legislative leadership may have just decided to end all abortions after 15 weeks, but they used a template developed outside the state. The legislation is designed to "bait" abortion-rights proponents into a fight over ending abortion outright, the bill's architect group admits.

Civil Rights

Court Blocks Law That Would Close Mississippi's Only Abortion Clinic

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A federal court on Friday permanently blocked Mississippi's law that threatened to close the state's only abortion clinic by setting a hospital-privileges requirement the clinic couldn't fulfill.

City & County

BREAKING: Mississippi’s Abortion Clinic Shutdown Law Permanently Blocked

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A federal district court permanently blocked Mississippi’s Texas-style clinic shutdown law today, ensuring the last abortion clinic in the state will remain open.

City & County

UPDATED: City Agreement Outrages Abortion Clinic Owner, Staff

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Pro-Life Mississippi protesters reached an agreement with the City of Jackson recently in federal court to limit what they say are breaches of their constitutional right to protest. But the two parties did not consult with the clinic's owner, manager or any of the women who visit for treatment.

City & County

City Agrees to Stop Interfering with Anti-abortion Protesters in Fondren

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The City of Jackson recently entered into its second consent decree with a group of these protesters over interactions with the Jackson Police Department, alleging that police officers have consistently infringed their First Amendment rights since 1996.

Politics

Planned Parenthood Pushes Challenge of Mississippi Law

Planned Parenthood is asking a federal judge to quickly rule in its favor and overturn a Mississippi law that bans Medicaid spending with any health care provider that offers abortion.

Personhood

Abortion in Mississippi: ‘The Fight’s Not Over’

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Derenda Hancock and two other Pink House Defenders were sitting anxiously outside the Jackson Women's Health Organization with donuts and coffee the morning of June 27, all checking their phones for the news. Hancock saw it first on SCOTUS Blog.

Politics

The Curious Case of What the #MSLeg Passed, What It Didn’t

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With their right to spend their campaign donations on mortgages, automobiles, clothing, tuition payments or non-documented loans still firmly in place, state lawmakers closed up shop early and skipped town last week.

State

Firing Squads Out, But ‘Spice’ Regs, Execution Secrecy, Planned Parenthood Limits Headed to Governor

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The state’s one Planned Parenthood clinic will lose Medicaid reimbursements if Gov. Phil Bryant signs a bill headed to his desk.

State

Debate Rages Over Causes of Abortion Declines

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Abortion numbers could be down for multiple reasons, including higher distribution of contraceptives and the lowering of teen-pregnancy rates in states like in Colorado.

Politics

Target: Abortion Rights, Public Ed, LGBT Custody

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Women's rights and public education topped the Mississippi legislative agenda as it rolled past the Jan. 19 deadline for filing bills and into the fourth week of the session, while a move by a Democratic lawmaker to limit LGBT custody of children roiled many members of his own party.

Abortion

In Surprise Move, State's Abortion Clinic Added to Bill Restricting Planned Parenthood Funding

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In a surprise move Tuesday, the Mississippi House targeted Medicaid funding for the state’s only abortion clinic in addition to the state’s sole Planned Parenthood clinic. The bill would prohibit the Mississippi Division of Medicaid from paying any entity that performs non-therapeutic abortions.

Personhood

'Proper Burials' for 'Unborn Infants' Sought in Mississippi Bill

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The Mississippi Unborn Infants Dignity Act would entitle "miscarried, stillborn or aborted infants" to "proper burials" and make selling the "broken bodies of aborted infants" for scientific experimentation a crime in the state of Mississippi.

Abortion

'Unborn Child Protection' Bill Passes Mississippi House, 'Dangerous Precedent'?

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The "Mississippi Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act" passed the Mississippi House of Representatives last week, meaning that legislators are back in the business of pushing anti-abortion legislation.

National

Several States Seek to Block 2nd Trimester Abortion Method

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Abortion opponents in Mississippi, West Virginia and several other states are filing bills to ban an abortion procedure commonly used in the second trimester that opponents describe as dismembering a fetus.

State

Mississippi’s Only Abortion Clinic Safe for Now

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Mississippi's last abortion clinic, which has been fighting a state admitting-privileges law for three years, is open—for now.

State

Jackson Abortion Clinic's Fate Up to SCOTUS

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Mississippi is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to let it enforce an abortion law that had been declared unconstitutional by a lower court.

State

Abortion Down in U.S., Mississippi, But Why?

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The abortion rate in Mississippi and across the U.S. is down, a new AP report released today shows. The question of why, however, is subject to wide and fierce debate.

Health Care

Planned Parenthood Saved My Life

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As Congress debates whether or not Planned Parenthood should continue receiving funding for providing health care to women, do me a favor and think of that young woman who may be able to live a healthy life because the organization was there in her hour of need.

Politics

The Rough Road to Reproductive Health Care

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Regardless of the state's appeal of the JWHO case, the fight for reproductive health in Mississippi will continue in the Mississippi Legislature.

Abortion

Planned Parenthood Bill Would Limit Cancer and STI Screening, Birth Control

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Medicaid recipients seeking birth control, STI testing or cancer screenings at the state's only Planned Parenthood clinic might get cut off if a Senate bill, which passed yesterday and then was held on a motion to reconsider, becomes law.

Civil Rights

Using the KKK to Fight Abortion Rights

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Groups such as the Ashburn, Va.-based Radiance Foundation have used ads to cast abortion as akin to genocide of African American children. Others are crying foul play.