Target: Federal District Court Judge Daniel Jordan
Goal: Rule against the closing of the last abortion clinic in Mississippi.
The United States is making some serious strides in reducing the amount of teen pregnancies across the country; with each year the number of young girls (ages 15-19) giving birth seems to be steadily decreasing. As it stands, the national average of teen births is at an all-time low with approximately 34 births per 1,000 teens.
Despite the promising odds, certain states remain at the other end of the spectrum. In Mississippi, the abortion rates are the lowest in the country and it is no surprise then that pregnancy rates are the highest with a soaring 55 births out of every 1,000 teens over 15 years old. And with only one clinic to perform abortions in the entire state, it is no wonder why the numbers are the way they are.
But even this last clinic, Jackson Women’s Health Organization established in 1996, is in some serious danger of being closed for good. Because of the passing of a recent law, one that requires an elevated level of clinical certification for abortion practitioners (a level which many are not at currently), Mississippi is on the path to becoming the first state in the country to not have an abortion clinic within its borders.
For women with unwanted pregnancies, this could mean a trip of over 200 miles in order to reach a clinic in another neighboring state. Already a hot spot for the issue, Mississippi seems to be the proper choice for such an intense debate. Yet, while it may seem that the clinic’s outcome is already decided—that it will close—many in the state may not be content. During a referendum last year that aimed to grant “personhood” to fetuses, a majority of 55% of Mississippians opposed the idea.
The decision now rests with Federal District Judge Daniel Jordan whether or not to allow any abortion clinic within the state. In the end, what it should really come down to is providing citizens with the right to choose and not placing these obstacles in their way.
Dear Judge Jordan,
Mississippi is on the verge of becoming the first abortion-free state in the country. While being a groundbreaker is usually commendable, in this particular case it is a giant step backwards for civil rights and the progress that has been made.
Eliminating abortion clinics does not eliminate the fact that there are going to continue to be unwanted pregnancies in Mississippi; instead, it would only place incredible obstacles in the way of those seeking the help that is needed.
When it comes time for you to make the decision on whether or not to close the last standing abortion clinic in the state, I urge you to keep it open—and grant citizens their powerful right to choose.
[Your Name Here]