The entire nation, both pro-life and pro-choice citizens alike, are waiting on the edge of their seats for the Supreme Court to hear a case that could directly challenge Roe v. Wade, the landmark abortion case in 1973 that effectively legalized abortion in America. Such opportunities have flitted by infrequently over the years, but Mississippi is making a run at it with a case known as Dobbs v. Jackson. The case is historic, but the most intriguing part is that the defendant is an abortion facility that really shouldn’t even exist.
Mississippi is one of several states with only one remaining abortion facility. Jackson Women’s Health in the state’s capital is a bright pink monstrosity with a sordid history and a long list of scandals. Their entanglements with the law stretch across the years, including concerning deficiency reports that detail their failures (dating back to 2009) to maintain a clean and safe environment for their clients.
In the early 2010’s, concerned citizens attempted to require that Jackson Women’s Health abortionists obtain admitting privileges to nearby hospitals in the case of emergencies. Admitting privilege is the right granted to a doctor to admit patients to a particular hospital.
An opinion on SCOTUSblog noted:
“Admitting privileges have long operated to bind patients to their physician: When a person seen in the emergency room is admitted to the hospital, their primary-care physician takes over their care, assuming that physician has privileges. This both ensures continuity of care and avoids patient abandonment. It makes good on the duty of physicians to follow through in caring for patients during the spell of illness. It also prevents hospitals from poaching every emergency-room patient who is regularly seen by a member of the hospital’s medical staff.”
Unfortunately, the attempt to increase Jackson Women’s Health’s accountability via an admitting privileges requirement failed in 2014 after being blocked by a federal appeals panel. And the reason was disturbing.
Because Jackson Women’s Health is the only abortion facility in the state, the argument was that its closure would create “undue burden” on women seeking abortion in Mississippi. Thus, it stands to reason that the lone facility in any state is free to operate as unsafely, unhygienically, and overall as dangerously as they’d like. After all, they apparently are licensed to run amok as long as they have an abortion monopoly.
Just like that, all regulatory powers are undercut. It appears, based on inspection documentation, that the Mississippi State Department of Health does inspect the facility. But why bother? Activist judges have proven that Jackson’s abortionists are free to send however many women they’d like away in ambulances, use the same surgical implements on everyone, or put patient files on a billboard on the side of the nearest highway. As the only abortion facility in the state, they can’t be touched.
This is why Reprotection exists. Abortion facilities nationwide prove time and time again that they cannot be trusted (nor should they be) to regulate themselves. And this goes for Planned Parenthood facilities as well as “off-brand” abortion businesses. If governmental bodies don’t want to deal with a rogue abortion facility because of the perceived controversy, then it’s up to us, grassroots pro-lifers, to observe, document, and demand better.