Mississippi’s last remaining abortion clinic closes ahead of state’s trigger law taking effect

Published: Jul. 6, 2022 at 9:29 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) -Most abortions in Mississippi will be illegal starting Thursday when the trigger law takes effect.

No one will ever receive an abortion again in the Pink House, as it’s come to be known. We checked in during the clinic’s last day of operations. Tensions were high, as they often are, with pro-life protestors trying to stop clients before they ever enter the parking lot.

“M’am., do not come in here,” said one pro-life protestor to a female attempting to turn into the clinic parking lot. “It’s a place of death.”

The Pink House Defenders are the volunteers who help escort patients into the clinic. Many of them like Derenda Hancock have stood out there rain or shine for years.

“It’s really hard to think about, we’re not going to be here again,” said Derenda Hancock. “Harder than that is thinking about the fact that the Pink House isn’t going to be here for the patients that need them.”

But they’ve ushered in a steady stream of cars in these final days.

“They have done everything they can do, to see every last person that was scheduled,” described Hancock. “They’re more desperate to get here than they would have been, you know, a month ago.”

Protestors on both sides of the issue say they felt an obligation to be outside on the last day of appointments.

“Unfortunately, I had an abortion 31 years ago,” explained Regina Minga. “And so I thought it would just go away, and it hasn’t, and it’s gotten more and more real. And so my heart hurts. So, I’ve just come here, just thanking God that maybe no more mamas, or babies and even the dads go through this regret because death is final. And you’re just not ready for that.”

Others fear for what’s next.

“There could be botched abortions, back-alley abortions,” said protestor Summer Stewart. “We also have to think about the lives of women and people with uteruses that don’t want kids... The foster care system can be overloaded. The caseworkers [and] the social workers are already overloaded. I mean, there’s no support system.”

Attorney General Lynn Fitch released a pre-recorded video calling on the “safety net” for pregnant women and families to be strengthened as the state looks ahead to the near-total abortion ban.

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