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REAL WORLD EVENT DISCUSSIONS
Mississippi law will close last abortion clinic
Saturday, June 30, 2012 4:31 AM
Gettin' old, but still a hippie at heart...
Quote:It was only recently that Dr. Willie Parker began flying down here from Washington, heading to work at a vaultlike building that sits unassumingly on a busy thoroughfare. On his way in, he may pass Prof. Matt Friedeman, standing on the sidewalk with a Bible and a handful of pamphlets, having made the four-minute drive from his home as he has done once a week for years.
And once 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.
It is no secret that the physicians who do the majority of the work at the J.W.H.O. do not currently meet this requirement; three out of four of them, including Dr. Parker, do not even live in Mississippi.
“If it closes that clinic,” Gov. Phil Bryant was quoted as saying during the bill-signing ceremony, “then so be it.” Mississippi would then be the only state with no abortion clinic.
Diane Derzis, who owns the clinic, has threatened to sue. But for now the doctors at the clinic have been applying to local hospitals for admission, a process that will almost certainly not be over by July 1. What will happen that week remains unclear. A spokeswoman for the State Department of Health said that even if state officials inspect the clinic early on the Monday morning of July 2, as they plan to do, the clinic would have 10 days to come up with a plan of compliance and “a reasonable amount of time” to put that plan into effect.
“It’s not like they don’t give them chances,” said Terri Herring, who is the president of the state chapter of the Pro Life America Network and has been lobbying the Mississippi Legislature for stricter regulations on abortion clinics for more than 25 years. “We’re dealing with a sacred cow,” she said.
But State Representative Sam Mims, the sponsor of the law, is determined that things will move faster this time.
In a June 20 letter, he asked the state health officer “to personally insure” that the law is fully enforced on July 2, and said his expectation was that any clinic not in compliance “must immediately cease performing abortions” until the requirements are met.
In a brief interview on Friday, Mr. Mims said that he was still discussing with legislative lawyers just how quickly the state was allowed to act.
For the clinic, it may simply be a matter of facing the threat of closing in either days or weeks, if the physicians are not granted admitting privileges. State officials are expecting a lawsuit if that happens.
Nine other states have local admitting requirements for abortion providers, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a research group focused on sexual and reproductive health and rights. But in none of those states did such a rule effectively end abortion, and that will be the crux of the legal fight. Mississippi political leaders have said the law is intended to safeguard the health of women, but they have not been circumspect about the larger goal.
“This is the only state where the proponents are this honest about what exactly their motivation is,” said Michelle Movahed, a lawyer with the Center for Reproductive Rights, which is representing the clinic.
One state legislator, Bubba Carpenter, was videotaped in May telling a gathering of Republicans that with the new law the Legislature had “literally stopped abortion in the state of Mississippi.”
Representative Mims said that the law does not outlaw abortion; the idea, he said, was to require physicians at the clinic to be able to follow their patients to a local hospital if complications arise. But, he added, “if this abortion clinic is closed, I think it’s a great day for Mississippi.”
Mississippi’s abortion rate is already low, in part because of the restrictions currently in place. But it is not surprising that this may be the first state to have no abortion clinic.
Mississippi is also the poorest state in the country and has the highest birth rate among teenagers, and the second-highest infant mortality rate, according to statistics compiled by the Kaiser Family Foundation. More than half of births here occur out of wedlock. Of the 2,297 women who had abortions in Mississippi in 2010, according to the State Department of Health, most were unmarried, most already had at least one child and more than three-quarters were black.
Dr. Parker, 49, who grew up in Birmingham, Ala., cites these demographics as one of the reasons he decided to come back to the South.
For the first dozen years of his medical career, working in California, Hawaii and Michigan, he did not perform or even allow himself to think too much about abortions. But eventually, he said, he encountered too many cases of women whose pregnancies endangered their health or who said they were too poor to raise a child.
“To know it is to become responsible,” said Dr. Parker, who later became the medical director at Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington. He only recently started at the clinic but is planning to make monthly trips here, if the clinic does not go away. “I shudder to think of the consequences,” he said. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/23/us/mississippis-only-abortion-clinic-is-at-risk-as-new-law-nears.html
Saturday, June 30, 2012 5:33 AM
Freedom is Important because People are Important
Sunday, July 01, 2012 5:02 PM
"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." -- William Casey, Reagan's presidential campaign manager & CIA Director (from first staff meeting in 1981)
Sunday, July 01, 2012 5:06 PM
Sunday, July 01, 2012 6:03 PM
Quote:Originally posted by Magonsdaughter:
Don't hospitals offer terminations?
Sunday, July 01, 2012 7:41 PM
Monday, July 02, 2012 2:10 AM
Monday, July 02, 2012 3:49 AM
Quote:Originally posted by Magonsdaughter:
What makes you think that happens in Thailand?
Monday, July 02, 2012 7:15 AM
Quote:I'm not a fan of abortion, but I know what happens when you ban it alltogether...
Quote: The most recent survey found that 87% of all U.S. counties have no identifiable abortion provider. In non-metropolitan areas, the figure rises to 97%. As a result, many women must travel long distances to reach the nearest abortion provider.
But distance is not the only barrier women face. Many other factors have contributed to the current crisis in abortion access, including a shortage of trained abortion providers; state laws that make getting an abortion more complicated than is medically necessary; continued threats of violence and harassment at abortion clinics; state and federal Medicaid restrictions; and fewer hospitals providing abortion services.
Doctors working in hospital emergency rooms and ob-gyn units before that time knew first-hand about the medical devastation that women suffered as a result of self-induced abortions or black market abortions performed by unlicensed practitioners. Today, many of those doctors are retiring. The younger physicians replacing them have little direct experience with the consequences of illegal abortions and the public health benefits of ensuring that safe abortions remain available.
Even those young doctors who are committed to providing safe abortions to their patients may have trouble getting the training they need. A survey in 1998 revealed that first trimester abortion techniques are a routine part of training in only 46% of America's ob-gyn residency programs. About 34% offer this training only as an elective, and 7% provide no opportunity at all for young doctors to learn to provide safe abortions http://www.prochoice.org/about_abortion/facts/access_abortion.html
Quote: Now there’s a new Republican-sponsored abortion bill in the House that pro-choice folks say may be worse: this time around, the new language would allow hospitals to let a pregnant woman die rather than perform the abortion that would save her life.
The new language [would allow] hospitals that receive federal funds but are opposed to abortions to turn away women in need of emergency pregnancy termination to save their lives.
Currently, all hospitals in America that receive Medicare or Medicaid funding are bound by a 1986 law known as EMTALA to provide emergency care to all comers, regardless of their ability to pay or other factors. Hospitals do not have to provide free care to everyone that arrives at their doorstep under EMTALA — but they do have to stabilize them and provide them with emergency care without factoring in their ability to pay for it or not. If a hospital can’t provide the care a patient needs, it is required to transfer that patient to a hospital that can, and the receiving hospital is required to accept that patient.
In the case of an anti-abortion hospital with a patient requiring an emergency abortion, ETMALA would require that hospital to perform it or transfer the patient to someone who can. Pitts’ new bill would free hospitals from any abortion requirement under EMTALA, meaning that medical providers who aren’t willing to terminate pregnancies wouldn’t have to — nor would they have to facilitate a transfer. The hospital could literally do nothing at all. http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/02/new-gop-law-would-allow-hospitals-to-let-women-die-instead-of-having-an-abortion.php
Monday, July 02, 2012 7:25 AM
Quote:A federal judge issued a temporary restraining order Sunday that will allow the only abortion clinic operating in Mississippi to stay open -- for now.
The Jackson Women's Health Organization filed for the action in response to a new state law that would require a clinic's abortion providers to be certified OB/GYN practitioners, and for those physicians to all have privileges at an area hospital. The law, which took effect Sunday, puts the clinic at risk, as all its doctors do not have such privileges.
The judge's order blocks enforcement of the law at least until the next hearing on the matter, which is scheduled for July 11.
Officials at the Jackson clinic say they are working to comply with the law. All of its doctors are OB/GYNs who travel in from other states. But only one can practice at a local hospital.
They say they are trying to gain privileges at Jackson-area hospitals, but that the cumbersome process and red tape forced them to file for a reprieve.
"Disappointing" is how Gov. Phil Bryant described the decision, according to spokesman Mick Bullock.
The governor "plans to work with state leaders to ensure this legislation properly takes effect as soon as possible," he said.
State Rep. Sam Mims, who sponsored the legislation, said "we will speak with our attorneys regarding our game plan," in response to the judge's order Sunday.
Mims previously told CNN the intent behind the legislation was to ensure that women undergoing abortions are receiving care from a certified, professional physician.
"If something goes wrong, which it might -- we hope it doesn't, but it could -- that physician could follow the patient to a local hospital. That's the intent. And what happens afterwards, we'll have to see what happens," he said.
But Derzis believes that the real intent of the newly elected Republican majority was to end abortion in the state, not to improve women's health care.
"This is not about safety. This is about politics. Politics do not need to be in our uterus," she said.
Friday, July 13, 2012 5:04 AM
Quote:A federal judge in Mississippi on Wednesday ordered an extension of his temporary order to allow the state's only abortion clinic to stay open.
The order will be in place until U.S. District Judge Daniel Jordan can review newly drafted rules on how the Mississippi Department of Health will administer a new abortion law.
He then plans to rule on whether the temporary order will become permanent, or whether the clinic must shut its doors.
Supporters of the new law say it is intended to protect women from unscrupulous practitioners, but others say it's part of a move to outlaw abortions in the state. Even Republican Gov. Phil Bryant called it "the first step in a movement, I believe, to do what we campaigned on: to say that we're going to try to end abortion in Mississippi."
The clinic is seeking a permanent injunction allowing it to stay open while it fights the law, which Derzis and other opponents say violates Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that struck down many state laws that restricted abortions.
"It's unconstitutional, frankly," said Amelia McGowan, a staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union, which is against the new law.
If Jordan decides not to make his temporary order permanent, the state can begin a 60- to 90-day administrative process to begin closing the clinic for noncompliance with the new state law.
Officials at the clinic, which has been in operation for eight years, say they would have to choose between being shut down or risking civil and criminal penalties by continuing operations during an appeals process.
"We've been able to be with women at a time in their lives where they are in crisis, when they need to have something done and need that support," Derzis said. "That's why it has to be available. It has to be."
Despite some past minor citations, the Jackson Women's Health Organization has a very good record with the Mississippi Department of Health, an official there told CNN.
"I love that it's white old men making those statements," Clinic owner Diane Derzissaid. "This is not about safety. This is about politics, and politics do not need to be in our uterus." http://www.cnn.com/2012/07/11/us/mississippi-abortion-clinic-hearing/index.html?hpt=hp_bn1
Friday, July 13, 2012 5:12 AM
Friday, July 13, 2012 10:36 AM
Saturday, July 14, 2012 6:02 AM
Saturday, July 14, 2012 6:43 AM
Saturday, July 14, 2012 6:47 AM
Quote:Originally posted by Niki2:
Bump. Apparently nobody else was gob-smacked by what he wrote. Does he always write things like this, and people have gotten so used to it they just let it pass, or am I missing something? I found this so unconscionable it blew my mind, but apparently nobody else noticed, or everyone just took it as par for the course!
Saturday, July 14, 2012 9:12 AM
Quote:Originally posted by Niki2:
Does he always write things like this?
Quote:And people have gotten so used to it?
Quote:They just let it pass?
Saturday, July 14, 2012 11:29 AM
Sunday, July 15, 2012 5:08 AM
Sunday, July 15, 2012 4:11 PM
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