By Anne Reed
Jackson, MS – Today Mississippi joined the eight other states currently abortion-free. The landscape is shifting with incredible rapidity – not only daily, but hourly in some cases.
In the meantime, Operation Rescue is working to track legislative activity, including procedural delays and injunctions preventing pro-life laws from taking effect, reversals of such injunctions, and failures of some states to enforce existing laws. We are also continuing our first-hand investigative work making phone calls to determine which clinics are scheduling abortions.
Today’s report of the last abortion clinic in Mississippi finally closing is worthy of celebration!
The Jackson Women’s Health Organization, that filed suit against the state of Mississippi in the landmark case that overturned Roe v. Wade and Casey v. Planned Parenthood, is suffering the consequences of its loss.
The last abortion clinic in the state, known as “The Pink House” is officially closing its doors after a special appointed judge, Debbra Halford, ruled against Jackson’s Women’s Health Organization after it attempted to block Mississippi’s six-week ban, as well as its “trigger law” that protects children from the moment of conception. Exceptions to the law include situations wherein the mother’s life is endangered, or a rape has been reported to law enforcement.
Halford clarified in her ruling yesterday, “The trigger ban and the six-week ban are affirmative statutes that have been properly enacted by the Mississippi Legislature through proper constitutional law-making authority.”
Halford corrected claims that the state constitution provided a fundamental right to abortion, stating clearly that it “fails to mention abortion, in significant reliance on Roe and Casey, neither of which remain good law.”
“The new law which protects the lives of babies from the moment of conception is set to take effect today, and the organization’s attorney has made it clear that the Mississippi abortion business is closing for good,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. “The staff of Jackson Women’s Health Organization apparently don’t have enough health care business to remain open outside of their business of killing babies! When we helped close their abortion mill in Alabama, they moved to Mississippi, and now we helped close them there. Through the grace of God, we will work to close them wherever they choose to go.”
Abortion-free states as of 11:30 a.m., 7/7/22:
- Alabama, *population 5,039,877
Ban in effect as of June 24. The Human Life Protection Act enacted on May 15, 2019 as a trigger law, imposes a near-total ban on abortion in the state. No legal challenge has been filed to date. Operation Rescue verified by phone that no clinics are performing abortions in the state.
- Arkansas, population 3,025,891
Ban in effect as of June 24. Act 180 passed in 2019, making it illegal, post Roe’s overturn to perform an abortion or attempt to perform an abortion except to save the life of a pregnant woman in a medical emergency. The punishment would be up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000. Operation Rescue verified by phone that no clinics are performing abortions in the state.
- Mississippi, population 2,949,965
A trigger law passed in 2007 goes into effect today. All abortions are banned excepts in cases where the mother’s life is in danger or a rape has been reported to law enforcement. Yesterday, a special appointed judged denied a temporary restraining order (TRO) to block the law from taking effect.
- Missouri, population 6,168,187
A full ban went into effect June 24, via a trigger law that permits abortion only in cases of medical emergency. Operation Rescue verified by phone the one remaining abortion clinic in the state halted abortions.
- Oklahoma, population 3,986,639
The Oklahoma governor signed a bill into law on May 25, prohibiting abortion at the point of fertilization. Operation Rescue verified by phone calls that abortion clinics in the state halted abortions.
- South Dakota, population 895,376
The last standing abortion clinic in the state closed on June 14, prior to Roe’s overturn.
- Texas, population 29,527,941
Following Roe’s overturn on June 24, Texas clinics halted abortions. But then on June 28, a Harris County court reassured some abortion clinics via a TRO that abortions could continue. Seven clinics began illegally scheduling patients again, reverting to restrictions set forth by the state’s heart-beat bill that went into effect last September.
The Texas Supreme Court ruled the state can enforce a 1925 ban that was never repealed while working out the details of enforcing The Human Life Protection Act that passed last year and protects life from the moment of conception.
And now, in light of the Texas Supreme Court’s block of the lower court’s TRO, all clinics have again stopped scheduling abortions altogether.
- Wisconsin, population 5,895,908
Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul (D) filed a challenge to the 1849 law that was set to go into effect after Roe’s overturn, seeking to make it unenforceable. Operation Rescue verified by phone calls that abortion clinics have halted abortions.
- West Virginia, population 1,782,959
State attorney general stated laws from 1800s are enforceable, and Democrat Gov. Jim Justice is calling a special session to address alternatives to return abortion to the state. For now, Operation Rescue verified the last abortion clinic stopped performing abortions on June 24 and has not resumed.
Total population (by state) now living abortion free: 59,272,743
“It is exciting to have a new problem – keeping track of the states rapidly becoming abortion-free!” said Newman. “We will continue to do so and keep you informed during this unprecedented time in our history.”
*Population figures are based on July 2021 estimates by census.gov.