Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Mississippi about to (effectively) lose sole abortion clinic

Campbell Robertson reported in the New York Times a few days ago on a Mississippi law that will effectively close the state's only abortion clinic, in Jackson, when the law becomes effective on July 1.  The story features Dr. Willie Parker, who flies from Washington to Jackson each week to be one of several abortion providers at the clinic.  Here's an excerpt:
[O]nce inside, Dr. Parker will begin seeing the young women who have made their way from all corners of the state to the Jackson Women's Health Organization, Mississippi's only abortion clinic.   
All of these journeys may end soon after July 1, when a new Mississippi law goes into effect.  The law, which was passed this spring by large margins in the State Legislature, requires all physicians associated with an abortion clinic to have admitting privileges at local hospitals.  
Most physicians who work at the clinic do not have such privileges, and three of four of them do not even live in Mississippi.  Several of them are currently scrambling to acquire such privileges.

I note in particular Robertson's reference to "all corners of the state" because most of those corners are rural.  As of 2000, more than half (53.5%) of Mississippi's residents were living in rural places, defined as population clusters of less than 2,500 or in open territory.  I wrote about abortion access for rural women--and the Supreme Court's misunderstanding of the burden of rural spatiality in this context--here.

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