The only abortion clinic in Mississippi, the state at the center of the US Supreme Court’s historic shift on women’s reproductive rights, closed its doors for the final time on Wednesday.
The Jackson Women’s Health Organization, nicknamed the Pink House because of its colorful walls, performed its final pregnancy-ending procedures before a law prohibiting all abortions takes effect in the conservative, the impoverished state of Mississippi in the United States.
“Today is a hard day for all of us at the last abortion provider in Mississippi, The Pink House Fund, which raised donations to keep the institution running,” posted on Twitter.
“It is our last day fighting against all the odds — of being there when no other providers would or could. We are proud of the work we have done here.”
Jackson Women’s Health gained international attention for initiating the legal process that eventually led to the US Supreme Court’s June 24 decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 ruling that enshrined the right to abortion in the United States.
The clinic had sued to overturn a Mississippi law that would limit abortion to 15 weeks.
With the case, the Supreme Court – which has shifted to the right with President Donald Trump’s appointment of three conservative justices – gave each state the freedom to ban or maintain the legality of abortions within their borders.
Thirteen states, anticipating the seismic shift by the court, passed trigger laws designed to take effect immediately after the overturning of Roe.
Mississippi’s law, passed in 2007, carries penalties of up to 10 years in prison for violations, and provides exceptions only in cases of danger to the life of the mother — but not for rape or incest.
The Pink House had asked local courts to block the law, but they refused, leaving the clinic with no choice but to close.
With most neighboring states equally hostile to abortion, women in Mississippi who wish to end a pregnancy will have to resort to using abortion-inducing pills or traveling in some cases hundreds of miles (kilometers) to have an abortion in states like Illinois.
Several other facilities have gone out of business across the country.
Whole Woman’s Health announced on Wednesday that it was closing four clinics in Texas and opening a new one in neighboring New Mexico.
Missouri’s only abortion clinic, operated by Planned Parenthood in St. Louis, also ceased all such procedures on June 23.
Legal battles, for example, have delayed the end date in Louisiana, but abortion access is expected to disappear in roughly half of the country’s 50 states.