JACKSON, Miss. — A young woman entered the parking lot of the only abortion clinic in Mississippi, her shoulders hunched. She was accompanied by an older woman and a stone-faced young man with a handgun on his hip. She appeared terrified.
All around them, the noise was deafening. It was early Saturday morning, and a man with a powerful P.A. system was preaching about Jezebel being eaten by dogs. Dozens of evangelical Christians had come to pray. Volunteer clinic escorts, sweating in the summer heat, directed patients’ cars through the throng and blasted music they thought the evangelicals would hate: At the moment, it was the cheeky alt-rock song “Stacy’s Mom.” Posters of aborted fetuses lined the street.
A pastor named Doug Lane huddled with the older woman and encouraged her to persuade the younger woman not to go through with the procedure. “I wanted her to have the baby,” the woman said, her voice unsteady.
poorest state travel to places where the procedure will remain legal. Similar efforts are underway across much of the country, in states where abortion will now be forbidden and in places hoping to accommodate out-of-state women in need.
in nine states since Friday’s ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, with at least 12 more bans or restrictions, including in Mississippi, expected to take effect soon. Though it was a Mississippi law that sought to restrict abortion at 15 weeks that was at issue in Dobbs, the state also has a so-called trigger law, passed in 2007, that fully bans abortion, except in cases of rape or risk to the mother’s life.