Anti-choice politicians in the Mississippi House of Representatives recently passed a bill that would ban abortions in the state after 20 weeks. If the bill passes the state Senate, it is likely to be signed into law Gov. Phil Bryant (R), who has made no secret of his desire to ban abortion entirely in Mississippi. Like similar bills that have been passed around the country in recent years, the justification for this measure rests on the medically disproven theory of fetal pain.
The Mississippi bill is notable, however, in that the state has already created an environment where accessing abortion care at any stage of pregnancy is exceedingly difficult. Ninety-nine percent of all counties in the state lack an abortion provider; 91 percent of women in the state live in these counties. The remaining 9 percent live in the county where Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the state’s sole abortion clinic, is located. But the outcome of an appeal before a federal court could make Mississippi the only state in the country without any abortion clinics.
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