Mississippi ACLU Outraged at ‘Irresponsible' Abortion Bill | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Mississippi ACLU Outraged at ‘Irresponsible' Abortion Bill

ACLU OUTRAGED IN THE IRRESPONSIBLE ACTION OF HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

[verbatim statement]

Jackson, MS-- The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of MS is outraged by the recent vote of the Mississippi House of Representatives to ban abortions in the state. Not only does a ban on abortion threaten women's health and lives, it is unconstitutional and will be challenged in court. Under current Supreme Court precedent, a ban on abortion will be struck down.

"The State of Mississippi can not afford a legal challenge of this magnitude, and it was very irresponsible of our lawmakers to pass this unconstitutional and dangerous bill,", said Nsombi Lambright, Executive Director of the ACLU of MS.

We should not be focusing our efforts on banning abortion, but on ensuring that women have access to the full range of reproductive health services, including contraception, medically accurate sexuality education, and abortion.

The decision of whether or not to have a child is among the most fundamental and private decisions a person can make. When government interferes with this decision we have lost the very foundation of our humanity and our rights as Americans.

The ACLU of MS will continue its work to protect a women's right to access reproductive health care through the MS Reproductive Freedom Coalition, a group of organizations and activists, fighting to ensure that individuals have access to reproductive health care, including comprehensive sex education, contraception and abortion.

We call on lawmakers in the Senate to recognize that this legislation threatens women's health and lives, and to vote against SB 2922.

Contact information for other Pro-Choice Advocates:

Michelle Colon, President, Jackson area NOW (National Organization for Women) 601- 454-0984

Sheila Hailey, President, MS NOW, 601-454-0431

Carmiel Banasky, Planned Parenthood of MS, 503-464-6722

Previous Comments

ID
105137
Comment

Nsombi, you rock. Agreed 100%. Consider me at your disposal if there's anything at all that I can do to help. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-03-06T17:59:22-06:00
ID
105138
Comment

Count on my support as well. Please keep us informed on anything we can do to support the fight against this ignorant legislation. Quiet as its kept, we womenfolk (and manfolk) will not stand idly by and have our rights stepped on- especially for political reasons.

Author
urbangypsy
Date
2006-03-06T18:07:49-06:00
ID
105139
Comment

I'm a Mississippian currently in college in another state. This bill makes me embarrassed to call MS home! We do not want to set this precedent MS!

Author
emsy
Date
2006-03-06T19:08:39-06:00
ID
105140
Comment

Women across this nation should be outraged. People should understand that every woman that gets an abortion has an unique and distinguished reason for doing so and most of the time it is tragic. Since our state legislative officials are against abortions, I'm interested in knowing just how many of them are going to adopt the children that will be abondoned by the women who would have otherwise had an abortion.

Author
Melishia
Date
2006-03-07T10:45:34-06:00
ID
105141
Comment

Excellent remarks, Melishia. Since our state legislative officials are against abortions, I'm interested in knowing just how many of them are going to adopt the children that will be abondoned by the women who would have otherwise had an abortion. That's not the point, Melishia. The "pro-life" folks believe that women themselves should be responsible for staying home and taking care of the children, regardless of economic status, and/or get married to the man who impregnated them, refused to use birth control, etc., even if he is a domestic abuser or lying scum who cheats on her and is the worst father imaginable. It's about men telling women what to do. And you've really got to love the folks -- including the leaders of Mississippi's Pro-Life Movement -- who don't want women to have easy and cheap access to birth control, either. Back the first time we went through this, there was a saying: "If men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament." Count on it.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-03-07T11:22:51-06:00
ID
105142
Comment

It's important to point out, emsy, that Mississippians are being used here. This state didn't create this mess alone. The entire country did by electing someone who is trying to turn back the clock on abortion rights for political reasons. Be embarrassed for the U.S. right now, not just Mississipppi. Although the saddest part is that Mississippi will likely be hit the hardest by the results of an abortion, being that we're already the poorest. People, we should work to reduce abortions—not wage a war on women's ability to live productive lives and make intelligent decisions about child-rearing. BTW, and I always ask this, I assume an abortion ban would mean that any woman getting a "private" abortion in a doctor's office, or man who pays for it, would go to prison for murder, right? That should make a lot of our Mississippi politicians start shaking in their wingtips.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-03-07T11:26:22-06:00
ID
105143
Comment

I think being embarassed for the US might be a stretch. Abortion is restricted or banned in some other western democracies (Ireland and Germany come to mind). It would be nice if this could be a quiet personal and/or medical issue rather than a white hot political topic.

Author
JLYerg
Date
2006-03-07T12:54:41-06:00
ID
105144
Comment

JL, I am embarrassed for what is supposed to be the free-est country and a model of said freedom anytime we start trying to turn back the clock on our accomplishments. And bless Germany and Ireland's hearts, but I don't see either as a role model for freedom.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-03-07T12:59:53-06:00
ID
105145
Comment

In Ireland they have "abortion boats" like we have casinos. They are allowed to operate off piers. If a woman wants an abortion, she walks to the end of a pier in Dublin and gets an abortion.

Author
Lori G
Date
2006-03-07T13:21:40-06:00
ID
105146
Comment

And before anyone ask...Yes, I do know the most RANDOM crap.

Author
Lori G
Date
2006-03-07T13:22:46-06:00
ID
105147
Comment

FYI: There will be a protest at the capitol today... From an activist list: Tuesday, March 7, 2006 @ 2:00-3:30 all activists who are outraged with the latest attempts to ban ALL abortions in MS, join us at the MS state capitol for a protest! Bring signs, some will be provided, but the supply is scarce. We, the pro-choice community (and those of you who are on the down low), have been too quiet and unseen for too long. Please join us!!!! The women and girls of MS are counting on us to defend their constitutional right to choose!! KEEP ABORTION SAFE!! KEEP ABORTION LEGAL!!!

Author
kaust
Date
2006-03-07T13:46:29-06:00
ID
105148
Comment

I'm a conflicted pro-choice person. But I don't believe I should tell another person what to do or how to feel about this issue. Especially a woman. I wouldn't want to have to cast a vote on this issue but would probably vote the pro-choice way if I had to vote. If men had to get pregnant to replenish the world, mankind would surely be extinct.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-03-07T15:32:06-06:00
ID
105149
Comment

This is an issue that is dominated by polar extremes. The pro and anti ends both have an all or nothing aproach but I'll bet the vast majority are "conflicted" (including me). My opinion is this is something not to be left to the solons of the state captol but put it to the voters.

Author
JLYerg
Date
2006-03-08T02:23:47-06:00
ID
105150
Comment

I don't think this issue should be decided by voters. It has already been decided, by the Supreme Court. Personally I would hope NEVER to have to have an abortion and probably wouldn't. But my view is that this should be between a woman, her doctor, and possibly her God. Legislating the option of abortion completely off the table is only going to make things worse for women.

Author
Izzy
Date
2006-03-08T11:20:38-06:00
ID
105151
Comment

People who follow this topic may also be interested in the experiences of many women who have been denied birth control by pharmacists. Not just EC (Emergency Contraception) but also regular birth control. What is wrong with these people? I find it strange and chilling. We are heading backwards right now, women need to stand up for themselves again. Fortunately some judges are handling the pharmacy issue well: Judge admonishes pharmacist who refused to fill birth control prescription http://www.democraticwings.com/democraticwings/archives/womens_rights/001581.php

Author
Izzy
Date
2006-03-08T11:31:31-06:00
ID
105152
Comment

People who follow this topic may also be interested in the experiences of many women who have been denied birth control by pharmacists. Not just EC (Emergency Contraception) but also regular birth control. What is wrong with these people? I find it strange and chilling. We are heading backwards right now, women need to stand up for themselves again. Fortunately some judges are handling the pharmacy issue well: Judge admonishes pharmacist who refused to fill birth control prescription http://www.democraticwings.com/democraticwings/archives/womens_rights/001581.php

Author
Izzy
Date
2006-03-08T11:31:33-06:00
ID
105153
Comment

From the American Family Association: Your phone call to your state Senator is needed in support of a bill which will make abortions illegal in the state of Mississippi. As you know, the House has passed a bill outlawing abortions except in rare cases. A bill is now before the Mississippi senate. It is very important that this bill be written carefully. A mistake could be very costly in the struggle to save unborn babies. Please call your state senator and ask him or her to vote to send Senate Bill 2922 to conference with the House bill. When calling, all you need to tell your senator is to "Please send Senate Bill 2922 to conference." Please call today. The senate switchboard number is 601-359-3770. An operator will answer. Ask the operator to pass the message on to your senator. (Call your senator by name.) The operator will take your message and pass it on to your senator. Please call today. Ahem... And this isn't a religious ploy nor a political ploy?

Author
kaust
Date
2006-03-08T15:48:03-06:00
ID
105154
Comment

Woah, the ACLU is against this. I'm stunned. ;) Seriously, who are they kidding? Even if 100% of Mississippians supported this measure, SCOTUS would shoot it down with hysterical laughter. It's a waste of time to pass so why try?

Author
Ironghost
Date
2006-03-08T16:06:29-06:00
ID
105155
Comment

JLYerg: My opinion is this is something not to be left to the solons of the state captol but put it to the voters. Voters have a nasty habit of not protecting the civil liberties of minorities. The courts are, in my view, serving their role well by maintaining the Roe standard. May they always. And may the need for abortion decrease. There is, I should add, a backlash in the pro-choice movement against people like me who will go on record as saying that we think abortions are barbaric and would like to see them rendered obsolete by emergency contraception and other forms of birth control. It seems that no matter where you stand in this debate, somebody, somewhere, is accusing you of being a sellout. Ironghost writes: Even if 100% of Mississippians supported this measure, SCOTUS would shoot it down with hysterical laughter. It's a waste of time to pass so why try? I don't mean to keep promoting my stuff, but I wrote about this on my About Civil Liberties site: So if the abortion bans won't actually be enforceable, why were they passed in the first place? One likely culprit is local politics. While legal abortion is supported nationwide, the majority of Mississippi and South Dakota residents poll strongly favor of reversing Roe. Whatever the tactical merits of an abortion ban, it ends a clear symbolic message, from the incumbents to their constituents, that they are willing to ban abortion if given the opportunity. This can only pay dividends in 2006 and 2007, when Rounds and Barbour, respectively, will face reelection--as will most incumbents in the Mississippi and South Dakota state legislatures. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-03-08T18:13:42-06:00
ID
105156
Comment

I'm not sure I buy local politics, as most Mississippians wouldn't back something we all know will just get shot back down. Remember also, according to yesterdays CL, this is the same bunch that protects Hog-Dog fights/gambling matches. I think they do it out of sheer stupidity, thinking blindly one day this will stick. Lord knows I don't like abortion, but I know there's no public mood to overturn it.

Author
Ironghost
Date
2006-03-09T10:26:40-06:00
ID
105157
Comment

The point here is not whether or not you are pro choice or not. It's our governmental system. How dare our law makers set us back in time this way. I mean, why is it that people in this state refuse to step into the new world. Women have every right to choice whether they want to keep a child or not. I help you all say that this is embarrassing. I'm disgusted. I am just sick and tired of our legislatures making these decisions that place us back in the dark ages. It's ridiculous. As Ms. Lambright stated this is a private matter. These law makers are stealing everything from us. We are too shakes away from working on plantations again. (sorry to go there) But it is the truth, is this a religious thing? Where is this coming from? It can't be religious since I have the right to choose what I believe and what religion I want to be a part of, then why can't I choose if I want to abort a baby or not? This is just crazy....

Author
Queen601
Date
2006-03-09T13:54:50-06:00
ID
105158
Comment

I guess I am the resident pro-lifer. ;) But, that said, you will not catch me acting like a prideful idiot and shouting at women in front of clinics. Pro-life includes the life of the mother.

Author
Heather
Date
2006-03-16T22:46:58-06:00
ID
105159
Comment

I respect that, Heather. We've got some other pro-lifers around here, too.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-03-16T22:48:41-06:00
ID
105160
Comment

I'm glad. I have learned, over the last few years, that I can completely disagree with someone on one or two issues and still absolutely love that person. *shrugs* I just hope others manage the same for me. LOL!

Author
Heather
Date
2006-03-17T16:47:21-06:00
ID
105161
Comment

I think I'm the only dyed-in-the-wool pro-choicer in my family. Everybody else is either pro-life or on the fence. But as far as I know nobody in my family is excited about the abortion bill, because they all recognize it as a political stunt that will do nothing to actually reduce the number of abortions being carried out. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-03-17T18:09:46-06:00
ID
105162
Comment

This is probably true Tom. I'll admit, I can't get my head around partial birth abortion. It seems to me, if the baby is being delivered, you may as well just have the kid and give it up for adoption (not talking about health related issues, here, just abortion as a means of birth control). What I think we need are betters counseling services for women before and after abortions, better care in general. So many women have an abortion to keep from destroying their life, but they end up with a destroyed life, anyway. It's just a sad situation all around.

Author
Heather
Date
2006-03-18T09:59:33-06:00
ID
105163
Comment

The thing with partial-birth abortion is that nobody ever has it electively. Ever. If a doctor were to perform a purely elective abortion on a healthy infant during actual labor, s/he would get into an unimaginable amount of trouble. The vast majority of abortions--some 79 percent, I believe--are first-trimester. Of the remaining number, the vast majority are second-trimester. The handful of third-trimester abortions that are performed have been, with almost no exceptions, performed for legitimate medical reasons. I'm against elective third-trimester abortions. So, I'm pretty certain, are the National Organization for Women, NARAL Pro-Choice America, and the ACLU. They oppose bans on third-trimester abortions because such bans are invariably worded in such a way as to interfere with legitimate medical decision-making, and the bills are worded in such a clumsy way not because the people writing the bills are incompetent, but because their sponsors want to be able to make political hay out of the fact that liberals oppose them. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-03-18T19:29:32-06:00
ID
105164
Comment

The 79 percent figure was accurate in 1995, but it's outdated now; a 2000 study turned up with 88 percent, and the current number is probably higher. Planned Parenthood has the stats: Between 1990 and 1997, the number of abortions in the United States fell from 1,429,577 to 1,186,039 (CDC, 2000). The CDC estimates that 55 percent of legal abortions occur within the first eight weeks of gestation, and 88 percent are performed within the first 12 weeks. Only 1.4 percent occur after 20 weeks (CDC, 2000). Note the year, by the way. Here again, there has been a consistent trend, thanks to improved pregnancy detection, in the direction of earlier and earlier abortions. If we can get Plan B available over the counter and cheap, then my suspicion is that the majority of abortions will be phased out altogether in favor of the less dangerous and less morally ambiguous option of emergency contraception. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-03-18T19:38:02-06:00
ID
105165
Comment

That is comforting, Tom. Though, I don't like PP. I just don't. I don't protest in front of their clinics, but I just don't like them. I prefer private run crisis pregnancy centers.

Author
Heather
Date
2006-03-19T17:31:39-06:00

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