Inside Mississippi’s Only Abortion Clinic
It seemed like a typical day at the Jackson Women’s Health Organization in Jackson, Miss., the only place in the entire state where women can get a legal abortion. For more than a decade, the clinic has been the lone abortion provider in Mississippi, a state that has some of the strictest abortion laws in the country.
But this day was different. Everybody on both sides of the fence expected the clinic to be shut down by the state within a few days.
“Nightline” was granted permission to spend 72 hours inside the clinic as its staff grappled with the fear of being shut down for violating a state law that requires its doctors to have admitting privileges at a local hospital — just the latest in an ever-growing list of regulations designed by state lawmakers, and supported by Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant, to force the clinic to close.
When local hospitals refused to grant access to the abortion clinic’s doctors, the state’s Department of Health notified the clinic in January that its state license would be revoked. But this past April, a federal judge extended an injunction to temporarily block the enforcement of the state law, which has allowed the clinic to continue to operate.