Reproductive Rights Updates: Mississpppi, Oklahoma, Ohio

Back in April, Mississippi governor Phil Bryant signed into law legislation that would potentially have the effect of closing the state's lone clinic. Starting next month, the clinic may indeed be closed:
Beginning July 1, all abortion-clinic physicians must have admitting privileges at a local hospital under a law passed by the Republican-led Legislature and signed by Republican Governor Phil Bryant in April. At the Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the state’s sole remaining clinic providing elective abortions, none of the three physicians who perform the procedure has been granted those privileges.

Betty Thompson, a spokeswoman for the clinic in the state capital, said the doctors have applied to seven area hospitals for admitting privileges. All three are already board certified in obstetrics and gynecology, as the new law also requires, she said.

’Certainly Qualified’

“We are crossing every T and dotting every I to make sure we have every opportunity to receive admitting privileges,” she said. “We are certainly qualified.”

The state Health Department will meet July 11 to approve regulations to enforce the law, said Liz Sharlot, a department spokeswoman.


“The Legislature took steps to end abortion in Mississippi by requiring doctors performing abortion to have admitting privileges at a local hospital,” Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves says on his website recapping accomplishments from the legislative session that ended last month. “This measure not only protects the health of the mother but should close the only abortion clinic in Mississippi.”
This does nothing to protect the health of anyone seeking an abortion. This simply makes it more onerous to access a (legal) necessary medical procedure, which of course, was the real goal.


In Ooooooooklahoma where the wind comes sweepin' down the plain, the attorney general is appealing a recent ruling that struck down a terrible mandatory ultrasound law:
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt has appealed a ruling that struck down a law requiring women seeking abortions to have an ultrasound image placed in front of them and listen to a description of the fetus before the procedure is performed.

Pruitt filed an appeal of Oklahoma County District Judge Bryan Dixon's decision with the Oklahoma Supreme Court Thursday.

Dixon ruled the law is unconstitutional because it addresses only patients, physicians and sonographers who deal with abortions. He rejected Pruitt's request to reconsider his decision.
The AG is insisting the law is about "informed consent" since people seeking abortions have no idea what they're doing and/or don't know anything about pregnancy. Or so the assumptions by people like Scott Pruitt seem to go.


In Ohio, it looks like a "personhood" amendment will not be heading to the ballot:
With less than two weeks before a crucial July deadline, [Personhood Ohio]'s director says it has close to 20,000, or 5 percent, of the roughly 385,000 signatures required for the proposed personhood constitutional amendment to appear on November ballots.


Organizers say personhood amendments have a good chance to qualify for fall ballots in Montana and again in Colorado. Each state has a lower threshold of required signatures than Ohio. About 86,000 signatures are needed by early August in Colorado, while fewer than 49,000 are required by Friday in Montana.

The measures vary in some details, but in general they define human life as beginning with fertilization and are intended to ban virtually all abortions, even in cases of rape and incest. Many physicians have said the measures could make some birth control illegal and deter in vitro fertilization.

Supporters in Ohio have hoped to alleviate those concerns by rephrasing their proposed amendment to say it wouldn't affect "genuine contraception" or in vitro fertilization procedures.


Johnston [Patrick, director] said Personhood Ohio volunteers will push hard in the final days to circulate petitions in churches on Sundays and sign people up at conferences, fairs and festivals.

"I pray we make it," Johnston said.

And if they don't? "We're going to keep working until we get the signatures and see that everyone's child is protected by love and by law," he said.
Hey, Patrick, FYI: banning abortion is not "seeing that everyone's child is protected by love and law". That's actually a gross perversion of that ideal.

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