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A lonely stateside abortion clinic shuts down in the heart of a major court case – Health and Lifestyle News – Report by AFR

The only clinic that performs abortions in Mississippi, the state at the heart of the US Supreme Court’s historic about-face on women’s reproductive rights, closed its doors for the final time on Wednesday.

The Jackson Women’s Health Organization, nicknamed the Pink House for the building’s brightly colored walls, performed its last pregnancy termination surgeries in the conservative, impoverished southern state before a law banning all abortions went into effect.

“Today is a tough day for all of us @ The Pink House Fund, the last abortion provider in Mississippi to raise funds to keep the facility running, was posted on Twitter.

“It’s our last day of fighting against all odds – to be where no other vendor has wanted or been able to. We are proud of the work we have done here.”

Jackson Women’s Health gained international notoriety for instigating the court case that ultimately led to the June 24 Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade, the 1973 ruling that enshrined nationwide abortion rights in the United States.

The clinic had filed a lawsuit challenging a Mississippi law that would limit abortion to 15 weeks.

With the case, the High Court – which has moved to the right with President Donald Trump’s appointment of three Conservative justices – gave each state the freedom to ban abortion within its borders or to maintain legality.

Thirteen states, anticipating the court’s seismic shift, passed trigger legislation to take effect immediately after Roe’s overthrow.

Mississippi law, passed in 2007, carries penalties of up to 10 years in prison for violators, with exceptions only in cases where the life of the mother is at risk—but not in cases of rape or incest.

The Pink House had asked local courts to block the law, but they refused, leaving the clinic no choice but to close.

Because most neighboring states are anti-abortion, women in Mississippi who want to terminate a pregnancy must resort to pro-choice pills or, in some cases, travel hundreds of miles (kilometers) to have an abortion in states like Illinois.

In other parts of the country, several other facilities have ceased operations.

Whole Woman’s Health announced Wednesday that it would close its four clinics in Texas and open a new one in neighboring New Mexico.

Missouri’s only clinic that performs abortions, operated by Planned Parenthood in St. Louis, also suspended all such procedures on June 23.

Legal battles delayed the end date in Louisiana, for example, but eventually abortion access is expected to disappear in about half of the country’s 50 states.

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