Mississippi is the poorest state in the nation. Life expectancy in the state is 75.0 years, the lowest in the country (the nation’s average is 78.9). And this state with its thin resources only has one health center that provides safe, legal abortion serving the entire state of nearly 3 million people. That one health center provides abortions up to 16 weeks.
So what did the Mississippi legislature do with their taxpayer-funded time? They voted on and passed a ban on abortions after 20 weeks. This was after they amended it to more closely resemble a ban in Arizona that the courts have struck down (and the Supreme Court refused to review).
The lawmakers in the poorest and least healthy state in the country just passed a bill banning a procedure you already cannot get at the state’s only abortion provider. Years of restrictions have already contributed to an environment in Mississippi where women are struggling to access safe, legal abortion. It’d be like Hawaii debating the merits of banning snowplows, then banning them and saying it was in the best interests of the people.
A Reuters reporter writes, “In rejecting the Medicaid expansion, Republican Governor Phil Bryant is turning down an estimated $426 million in federal funds for next year.” So when given the option to improve health care in Mississippi, their governor says no.
But really these lawmakers, already derelict in their duties to help the people of Mississippi, voted to place themselves between a woman and her doctor; to make personal health decisions for her…on a service practically unavailable within the borders of her state, for an extremely rare procedure.