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Mississippi's last abortion clinic faces rush of women trying to beat deadlines of biology and of law

America’s reckoning is close at hand with abortion in Jackson, Mississippi.

It is always a very intense place to enter the parking lot at Jackson Women’s Health Organisation. It’s now on a different level.

Anti-abortion activists provide direct and unprompted advice to patients as they arrive in their cars.

“Don’t allow them to kill your child …”

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“Wouldn’t you love that baby and show mercy?

“The Bible states that the body without the spirit …”

The Pink House is Mississippi’s only remaining abortion clinic.

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It will close within days of the governor signing the law banning abortion.

All clinics in the neighboring states of Louisiana, Alabama and Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky, and Missouri have closed.

The Pink House’s car park is always full. This is the result of the Supreme Court judgement.

Now, decisions are being made and highly personal procedures are being performed in a hurry to not only meet a deadline of biology, but also of law.

Multi-colored vest-wearing support volunteers are available to help guide patients and cars through the protests.

As Doug Lane, an anti-abortion protester shouts through his car window, I am able to see him.

Despite their victory at Supreme Court, the protesters remain. They offer God a choice between redemption and hell.

Doug, I ask if Doug thinks this is appropriate behavior towards women who make such personal decisions.

You think it is intimidating them? He said that they hoped it would prick their conscience.

“We believe that the baby in the womb, a human being created in God’s image, is the child and that it is murder to take that life.”

Brian is another protester.

“They are murdering babies in this pink house.” He says that people need to be charged and that justice must be upheld immediately.

“Hell will be hot and forever.

“We love these women, and we want them repent. We want these babies saved.

“So, we raise our voices like a trumpet to preach the gospel.”

The Pink House was the first place that The Supreme Court issued a legal ruling that has profoundly changed America’s social fabric.

America’s courts were able to help the clinic win its battle against Mississippi. It finally reached the highest court and was represented by nine justices.

Trump-appointed ultraconservative majority of the Supreme Court sided with Trump on Friday. This decision overturned a woman’s right to choose, which was enshrined for 50 years in the US Constitution.

Image: Dale Gibson

Clinic escort Dale Gibson informs me that “What’s been done is unconstitutional.”

“How is it possible to take away the rights of the states, so that everyone can carry a gun and then turn the federal rights over to women and give them back to the states?” It doesn’t make sense.

He is angry, but also deeply disturbed.

He stops, and then adds: “I wish everybody enjoyed the Constitution we had for 250 year because we don’t have it anymore.” I’m done.”

Image Pattie D’Arcy

Pattie D’Arcy, who has traveled from New Orleans to support a woman’s decision, meets me outside the clinic.

She says, “Louisiana has already been closed.”

“Women will die.” I’m not being just being dramatic. It’s scary.”

Although the Supreme Court decision in Washington DC raises profound questions about the country’s unity, stability and democracy, it is also raising fundamental questions about the country’s future. But here, where the impact will have such a huge impact, the questions are even more important. It’s about making choices regarding your health and your life.

Image Natalie Collier

Natalie Collier is my friend, and we are able to get away from the chaos. She is the founder and president at The Lighthouse: Black Girl Projects. This charity supports some of this city’s most vulnerable and poorest people.

She tells me, “This is a conversation regarding control.”

She says that black women who have been historically poor and live in communities that aren’t serving them well will bear the brunt.

What happens now?

She says, “It’s all about subverting the system to take care people in communities.”

“It’s all about doing things… I am looking for a better way to say take good care of people illegally, if that’s what’s needed.”

That’s the core of it. In the end, abortion will go underground.

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