Tag Archives: War on Women

The Plight of Mississippi’s Lone Abortion Provider

8 Feb

Since April of last year, the Jackson Women’s Health Organization has been struggling to stay open. Jackson is the last abortion provider in Mississippi, a state that leads the country in teen birth rates.

In April, Governor Phil Bryant (R) signed in anew law, which states that any doctor performing an abortion in the state is required to have hospital admitting privileges. The clinic has since applied for admitting privileges with seven local hospitals, and been rejected from each and every one. In accordance with state law, healthcare facilities are allowed to refuse medical service on religious grounds.

Image

http://www.salon.com/2013/02/01/mississippis_last_abortion_clinic_hangs_in_the_balance/

The hospitals reportedly rejected requests by these physicians to receive admitting privileges because their medical practice “is inconsistent with this Hospital’s policies and practices as concerns abortion and, in particular, elective abortions” and that admitting them “would lead to both an internal and external disruption of the Hospital’s function and business within this community.”

The clinic, which in 2011 served close to 2,000 patients, the majority of which being low-income and teenage women, received a notice stating that the state health department will revoke its operating license. To put that in perspective, Mississippi had a poverty rate of 22.6 in 2011, and many of these low-income women will have to go to a clinic three hours away over the state line, if the Jackson clinic is forced closed. In addition to transportation costs, childcare, and time-off work, women would have to put up money for hotels to adhere to mandatory 72-hour waiting periods in neighboring states as well as find the money for the $450 procedure itself. This would put an undue burden on these women, effectively making it impossible for them to terminate an unwanted pregnancy.

According to Michelle Movahed, the staff attorney for the center, “This unconstitutional law has essentially handed over the fate of Mississippi women’s reproductive health care to hospital administrators.”

In 1981 there were 14 abortion clinics in the state of Mississippi, now the only two physicians providing abortions fly into the state to its only remaining clinic. Systematically closing down the state’s abortion care providers isn’t the only way the state has limited a woman’s ability to choose in Mississippi however.  Due to several prohibitive measures that have been passed in recent years, Mississippi now has the lowest abortion rate in the country at 5%, compared to 19% nationally. In Mississippi abortion clinics, unlike other medical offices, are required to adhere to the same building codes as hospitals. Minors in the state need the consent of both parents before receiving an abortion, and abortions are only legal in clinics up to 16 weeks. Additionally, sonograms must be performed and the patient must be given the opportunity to see the image and listen to the fetal heartbeat. Also all women seeking an abortion in the state must receive counseling from a doctor and then wait 24-hours before the procedure.

And as if all of this weren’t enough, Republican Senator Angela Burks Hill recently sponsored Senate Bill 2795, a bill which would attempt to limit the availability of medications such as mifepristone and misoprostol which induce abortions. The bill would make it illegal for a woman to take the pills seven pills after their last menstruation, despite the fact that most doctors currently prescribe it up to nine weeks. To add insult to injury, the bill will also require a woman to return to her doctor’s office to take the misoprostol instead of her previous option of taking it at home. This would result in four required visits for a woman seeking to end a pregnancy via medication, a requirement that may not be financially feasible for all of Mississippi’s women. On February 5th the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee approved the measure, which will go to the full senate for more debate. 

Mississippi’s attack on women and on reproductive rights is truly atrocious. Despite being legal in the United States, these proposed measure are essentially making abortion impossible for the low-income women that live there. These measures also unjustly affect low-income women, who will likely be unable to afford trips out of state. Essentially forcing these women to give birth to unwanted children that they may not have the means to support perpetuates a cycle of poverty that can be almost impossible to escape.

Access to birth control and abortion are two of the greatest tools that women have in their arsenal to achieve the same economic freedom as their male counterparts. When women are unable to control when and where they want to start a family, under what circumstances, they are essentially stripped of their abilities to succeed in a job market where they are in constant competition with men who do not face the same challenges. Abortion rights are a women’s issue, they are also a class issue, and a race issue. It’s about the power to choose. When Mississippi, a state with the highest teen pregnancy rate and one of the highest poverty rates, chooses to deny women this fundamental control over their future economic prospects, they are holding women back and keeping them in a state of oppression.

What happens to Mississippi’s last abortion clinic is important for us all. It is a warning, of what could happen if we don’t fight to protect the rights of women everywhere.

Advertisements

What Matters to Women, Matters to America

23 Jan

Louisiana Women’s Roundtable Presents:

“What Matters to Women, Matters to America”

Image

A conversation about the public policies that could shape the future of American women.

Please join us for the critical discussion about the role that politics and policy play in the lives of women and families in America. This conversation goes beyond the “war on women” to address the intersections of important policy decisions.

The event is taking place on February 19 from 6-8pm at Cafe Istanbul, New Orleans Healing Center (2372 St. Claude Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70117). You should all go!!!

Mediated by Professor Nikki Brown from the University of New Orleans, the panel includes:

* Tania Tetlew, Tulane University, Domestic Violence Clinic

* Marjorie Esman, ACLU of Louisiana

* Karissa Haugeberg, Ph.D., Tulane University Department of History

* (Invited) Paulette Lewis, Women’s Bureau of the U.S. Dept. of Labor

Louisiana Women’s Roundtable is a strong coalition of local organizations including: Louisiana NOW, American Association of University Women, ACLU-LA, Independent Women’s Organization, Institute of Women and Ethnic Studies, League of Women’s Voters-New Orleans, LA Progress, National Council of Jewish Women-Greater New Orleans, and Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast

cycpyper

"My thoughts are stars I cannot fathom into constellations"

Serenity's Ashrama

"Our inner hankering is for satisfaction, happiness, sweetness, love, beauty and mercy." Swami B.R.Sridhar maharaja.

The Ms. Education of Shelby Knox

Musings of a girl revolutionary.

Unsettling America

Decolonization in Theory & Practice

Appalachian Trail Girl

A How-To for Hiker Girls

Mary Griggs

The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.

Dilly Tante

Doing an okay job at lots of things

FatFemPinUp

Always Speak Your Mind, Always Flaunt Your Curves!

Call Me Keira

I'm beginning to accept myself as Transsexual. With this blog I plan to explore what that means for me.

The Fickle Heartbeat

A blog about love or lack thereof

Uncle Tree's House

Putting music to words, and words to pictures ~

APENYO

How she makes her beer money.

Roof Beam Reader

A Place of Books and the Thoughts They Inspire