Coalition launches ‘The Abortion Patients Bill of Rights’ to combat misinformation

Published: Sep. 29, 2023 at 8:50 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - While most abortions in Mississippi have been illegal for more than a year, pro-choice groups haven’t stopped their work.

They’re looking for new ways to share information about the options women still have, even if it means crossing state lines.

”When you talk to women and families and children and you hear their stories, it can make it a little bit difficult to choose to be here and show up, in the end, do this work,” explained State Director of Planned Parenthood Southeast Tyler Harden. “But those people haven’t given up hope. So neither will.”

Tyler Harden is the State Director for Planned Parenthood Southeast. They are one of a dozen organizations that have formed the Mississippi Abortion Access Coalition. They’re hoping to link women in the state to pro-choice resources.

“There are people on the other side of this debate, who again, there’s a lot of fear tactics to make sure that people don’t have information that they desire to know,” said Harden.

They’ve now launched The Abortion Patient Bill of Rights.

“We wanted to let people know that you still have rights to ensure that you have access to abortion,” she added. “You still have the right to provide money or help to anyone seeking an abortion. And you yourself have a right to seek an abortion in the event that there’s a rape or a case of incest or there’s another condition required to save a pregnant person’s life.”

This comes after Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch indicated in a letter with other AGs back in June that the state needs access to information about Mississippians who are going out of state to seek abortions.

Governor Tate Reeves was asked recently if he believes the state has the right to monitor, restrict, and prosecute people who go out of state for abortions and if he would veto legislation further restricting contraception in the state.

“We obviously will take a look at any legislation that is moving through the legislative process, but I’m not going to comment on what might happen six or nine months from now.”

The coalition says it will keep pushing out information to ensure it’s more than the pro-life resources being offered to women in the state.

Attorney General Lynn Fitch’s office indicated on social media that they’ll be unveiling a website Monday with public and private resources available to mothers in the state.

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