So, this morning we had a team of a reporter, an intern and photographer out at Mississippi's only abortion clinic. It's the morning after federal Judge Dan Jordan issued an injunction keeping the clinic open until at least July 11 because, in part, the folks who pushed it made it clear that their goal was to eliminate abortion in Mississippi -- which they focused on far more than on women's health and safety.
What was funny this morning, to us, is how Roy McMillan (the man who sits in front of the clinic every morning with big fetus posters and other signs) yelled at my folks to tell me that "shoes are optional!" along with various other criticisms of the JFP's coverage. He was clearly referring to this recent JFP editorial, which I wrote a few weeks ago criticizing McMillan and his wife, Dr. Beverly McMillan, for trying to make any form of hormonal birth control, including the pill and the morning-after pill, illegal.
I ended the editorial: "Dr. McMillan is as welcome to those views as her husband is to sit in front of a clinic when he could be out helping children that are already born, hungry and unwanted. But it is not her place to tell hard-working American women that their health insurance should not pay for their health-care needs because she'd prefer that they get pregnant. Whether Dr. McMillan also prefers them barefoot is still an open question."
It's good to know where they stand on that question.
What was funny is that I drove by not long afterward, not knowing about McMillan's messages for me, and snapped some photos from my iPhone. An anti-abortion couple sitting next to the gate told me that they appreciate the JFP's coverage of the controversy because we report all sides and include comments from everyone. So, I suppose, the anti-abortion movement isn't filled with people who all think alike, just like the pro-abortion rights movement isn't. And I rather suspect there are a good number of folks out there against abortion who know that easy access to birth control will actually lower the number of abortions in our state and America. Unlike the McMillins, who don't seem to care about that point.
Meantime, I encourage everyone to read former JFP assistant editor Casey Parks' indepth feature on the Pro-life movement in Mississippi. It includes very interesting reading about the McMillans (they liked this story then, they told us) and other people inside the movement, including lobbyist Terri Herring.
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Bruce Stuckey and Roy McMillan are doing what many people would consider radical—standing outside the Jackson Women's Health Clinic in mid-September, protesting in the rain. They are flanked by a ...