Mississippi officials couldn’t stop themselves from bragging they had ended a woman’s right to choose in their state. Now they will have to explain themselves to a federal judge who has put their plans on hold.
Mississippi femmes won a just-in-time victory this Sunday in the Republican’s relentless war on women. A Federal Judge has given a temporary reprieve to the Jackson Women’s Health Clinic, the last abortion provider remaining open in Mississippi. Judge Daniel Jordan issued an injunction, temporarily staying the law that would have taken effect last Sunday, July 1st, requiring any doctor performing abortions in the state to have hospital privileges. Ever since Governor Phil Bryant signed the new onerous legislation that applies only to clinics offering abortions, the doctors at the Jackson Clinic have sought privileges at five nearby hospitals, but were refused.
For months Mississippi lawmakers have been openly bragging that the motive for the new “privileges” law is to end abortion in Mississippi. Turns out, their loose lips may have sunken their own ship of fools. In his order, Judge Jordan wrote the clinic had “offered evidence – including quotes from significant legislative and executive officers – that the Act’s purpose is to eliminate abortions in Mississippi. They likewise submitted evidence that no safety or health concerns motivated its passage.”
A hearing will be held July 11th to determine whether the temporary injunction should be extended, and the anti-choice lawmakers will be allowed to try to spin their public statements. That may be a Herculean task at this point, since Governor Bryant’s on-camera signing statement was very candid: “We are going to continue to try to work to end abortion in Mississippi, and this is an historic day”.
Other lawmakers were just as enthusiastic in their anti-woman glee. A video of Mississippi State Representative Bubba Carpenter: telling his Alcorn County constituents he’d been warned “…poor pitiful women that can’t afford to go out of state are just going to start doing them at home with a coat hanger. But hey,” He shrugged, “you have to have moral values.”
The Jackson clinic was open for business Monday and in the wake of the Judge Jordan’s injunction, the scheduled inspection by the Heath Department and subsequent forced closing did not materialize. With any luck, the braggadocio of the Mississippi politicians will prove to be their undoing. Meanwhile, the war on women continues.