Jackson, Mississippi – Mississippi is closer to becoming the first abortion-free state in the nation as the last remaining abortion facility within its borders missed its deadline Friday to comply with state law.
Last year, lawmakers in Mississippi passed a regulation that requires abortion facilities to have board certification and obtain admitting privileges. The latter requirement, which allows abortionists to send women that are injured during an abortion to local hospitals for further treatment, was said to serve as a safeguard to protect women that need critical medical care.
After the bill was signed into law, Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the last abortion facility in the state, filed a lawsuit in an attempt to block the requirements. During a hearing last July, the facility explained in court that it had been unsuccessful in obtaining admitting privileges, and was granted six months of additional time to comply with the law under the direction of federal judge Daniel Jordan.
Jackson Women’s Health Organization then had until January 11th to find a hospital that would grant admitting privileges, which was Friday. However, it missed the deadline as none of the area hospitals wanted to assist the facility.
As previously reported, court documents filed by administrator Shannon Brewer outlined that Jackson Women’s Health Organization had applied to seven hospitals in central Mississippi, and all have turned it away. Some locations would not even provide an application to complete.
“At Baptist Medical Center, executive assistant for medical staff services Teresa Ayala told JWHO administrators that hospital would not send an admitting privileges application,” reports Jackson Free Press. “Brewer’s declaration also indicates that Ayala was less than helpful in providing the clinic information it needed to contact Baptist’s physicians.”
University Medical Center in Jackson said that it would only grant admitting privileges to employees of the hospital.
“The other five hospitals that rejected JWHO’s applications–River Oaks Hospital in Flowood, Crossgates River Oaks Hospital in Brandon, Madison River Oaks in Canton, Woman’s Hospital in Jackson and Central Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson–are owned by Naples, Fla.-based Health Management Associates Inc.,” Jackson Free Press continued. “Each of these hospitals responded to JWHO with similarly worded letters citing the hospitals’ abortion policies and concerns about ‘internal and external disruption of the hospital’s function and business within this community.’”
Therefore, because Jackson Women’s Health Organization is unable to find a hospital that wishes to collaborate with the abortion industry, it faces possible closure as early as mid-February. According to reports, the facility will likely receive an inspection notice from the state, which can then shut down the location for non-compliance. Jackson Women’s Health Organization can then appeal the order if it so desires.
Governor Phil Bryant told reporters that he would like to see the facility close.
“My goal, of course, is to shut it down,” Bryant candidly affirmed. “Now, we’ll follow the laws. The bill is in the courts now, related to the physicians and their association with a hospital. But, certainly, if I had the power to do so legally, I’d do so tomorrow.”
Rusty Thomas of the States of Refuge campaign, which focuses on ending abortion in the five states in America that have just one abortion facility, told Christian News Network that he believes the facility will likely close — as 2013 marks the 40th year of Roe v. Wade.
“All of the pieces of the puzzle are pointing to Jackson, Mississippi for the 40th year of Roe v. Wade,” he stated. “We are on the verge of making history.”
States of Refuge, therefore, is planning a gathering in Jackson this month instead of Washington, D.C., where most pro-life Christians gather each year to march on the National Mall. Last fall, Thomas and approximately 100 Christians stood outside of the Jackson Women’s Health Organization to pray that it would close.
“Imagine one state being set free from blood guiltiness,” Thomas said with excitement. “If one state falls, it does send a message that it can continue in other states.”
He said that he hopes that if and when the facility closes, it will encourage others to take a stand for life.
“Hopefully, it would inspire others that you don’t have to wait for the Republican Party or [any] politicians,” Thomas commented. “These are the moments God uses to get others involved.”
The other four states where only one abortion facility remains are Arkansas, Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota.
“Once it falls, the march is not over,” Thomas advised. “On to other states.”