My name is Derenda Hancock, and I’ve been a member of the Mississippi Humanist Association (MHA) for about a year now. I organize a group of volunteers called the Pinkhouse Defenders at Jackson Women’s Health Organization (JWHO) aka “The Pinkhouse”. Our mission is (primarily) to escort patients from their cars to the clinic’s door with as little harassment as possible from the screaming anti-abortion religious zealots on the sidewalk. MHA President Kim Gibson and I are there whenever the clinic is open to patients, but we would always welcome more volunteers!
The purpose of this message, however, is to inform everyone about MS House Bill 1510. MS HB 1510 is a 15-week abortion ban that just passed the Mississippi Senate and will be signed into law quickly by Gov. Phil Bryant. The Pinkhouse, the only abortion clinic in the state, performs procedures up to 16 weeks. On the surface, changing the law from 16 weeks to 15 weeks might not seem like a big deal, but it’s actually a very big deal. It’s about chipping away at Roe v. Wade one week at a time.
While proponents of this bill claim their concern is for women’s safety, that’s just another lie. Abortion is one of the safest medical procedures out there. Serious complications occur less than a quarter of a percent of the time, according to researchers at University of California San Francisco. Like all anti-choice legislation, this is simply about control over women’s choices.
The good news is it will be challenged before the ink Gov. Bryant signs it with is dry. The bad news, and this affects all of you, is that it’s going to cost Mississippi’s taxpayers a fortune to fight this in court. The governor has publicly stated that his goal while in office is to make Mississippi abortion free – and he doesn’t care how much $$$ that costs you! Can the poorest state in the nation really afford to waste hundreds of thousands of dollars fighting for a bill that will eventually be deemed unconstitutional? I think not.
We may not be able to stop the bill from being enacted, but we can let everyone know that the state that can’t expand Medicaid, fund education, or repair our infrastructure is willing to spend whatever it takes on a bill that has no benefit to anyone in Mississippi. MS HB 1510 is good for nothing...except for wasting the Mississippi taxpayers' dollars. Let's let Gov. Bryant and all of our legislators know #WeSeeYou. We see you and we vote!