When the Roe v. Wade precedent was overturned by the Supreme Court Friday morning, the clock began ticking for the Jackson Women’s Health Organization clinic, which most people know as the Pink House.

Representative from the clinic held a news conference Friday afternoon saying they will likely close in a matter of weeks but also that the Jackson clinic’s demise will not be the end for those involved.

The case that brought an end to nearly 50 years of nationwide abortion protections started with the Pink House, after the clinic sued the state over its Gestation Age Law. Their loss in the case will lead not only to the closure of their clinic but also the closure of clinics throughout the nation.

Thirteen states including Mississippi have trigger laws which ban abortions in the event Roe v. Wade fell. Thirteen other states either have bans on the books from before Roe v. Wade was decided or restrictions on abortion that go beyond those Roe v. Wade allowed. 

A young woman supporting abortion holds up a sign at the press conference outside of the Jackson Women's Health Organization after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in Jackson, Miss., Friday, June 24, 2022.

In a number of states, bans have already gone into effect. Mississippi’s law, however, requires approval from Attorney General Lynn Fitch, after which abortion will be banned 10 days later.

Fitch has not indicated when she will certify that the court overturned Roe v. Wade, though she has signaled her support for the decision.

“We intend to give the opinion and the analysis contemplated by the law the thoughtful attention they deserve,” said the attorney general’s Chief of Staff Michelle Williams in an email Friday morning.

At the news conference, Pink House owner Diane Derzis said she does not expect Fitch to take long with the decision. Derzis said the clinic will see every patient they possibly can until a ban on abortions goes into effect 10 days after Fitch takes action.

Diane Derzis, CEO of the Jackson Women's Health Organization, speaks at the press conference held by the organization after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in Jackson, Miss., Friday, June 24, 2022.

“Any patient that contacts us, we’ll see them. We’ll make sure we see them,” Derzis said.

As for patients who cannot receive an abortion before bans go into effect, Derzis said their only option for a legal abortion would be travel. 

Illinois would be the closest state with abortion access for 71% of people in Mississippi, while 29% would be closer to North Carolina, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive rights research organization.



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