Last week was the 40th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court decision that finally made abortions legal in this country, regulating an industry that was killing thousands of women every year in illegal, unsafe back alley abortions. Well…you would think this matter would have been settled by the fact that FORTY years have passed, but apparently it’s more contentious than ever.
Ever since the Republican-wave of 2010 (which was supposed to be about economics but actually wound up being a stealth social conservative movement), red states with Republican state legislatures to write the radical anti-abortion bills and rightwing governors to sign them have made it as hard as possible for anyone to get an abortion. [The all-time worst one involves invasive ultra-sounds and forcing women to look at the fetus they want to abort…now the law in 8 states.]
Through different means they’ve managed to shut down various abortion clinics so that 4 states have only 1 functioning abortion clinic (Arkansas, South Dakota, North Dakota, and Mississippi) and now Mississippi’s sole clinic is facing serious pressure to close down. While Roe vs. Wade was celebrating its 40th anniversary, the state’s last functioning abortion clinic had its license to operate revoked. Now they’re trying to fight it in court in order to keep their doors open, but I don’t know how optimistic I am about their chances.
Which begs the question: why is the state with the highest teen pregnancy rate in the country AND the highest out-of-wedlock pregnancy rate in the country trying so hard to become the only state in the country without a working abortion clinic?
The Governor of Mississippi said he wants it to become the first-abortion free state in the country, the legislature has made it an active goal, and it seems to be the only thing they care about given the political leadership’s complete indifference to Mississippi’s very real problems of poverty, crime, and sky-high income inequality. It makes zero sense for a state with so many unplanned children and teenage mothers to become the first to have no abortion clinics, but when has Mississippi ever made sense?