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Reckon’s guide to abortion in Mississippi

In June, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the long-held right to an abortion for every American and left abortion access up to each state for the first time in 50 years. That led to most abortions being banned in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Texas. We know more states have existing laws banning abortion that will soon take effect or will pass new laws to ban the procedure.

Information about abortion is changing quickly across the country. And in some states where abortion is already outlawed, healthcare professionals are navigating vague laws that raise questions about whether they’re able to share medically accurate information about the procedure.

Reckon is producing state-by-state guides to help our readers in states with bans understand where and how they can still find the science-based information they need about abortion. We relied on databases such as ineedana.com, talked to community-based abortion workers and verified information with local clinics.

Each guide includes information about current state law, information about the closest open abortion clinics and information about medication abortion.

The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG), the country’s leading membership organization for OB-GYNs, reiterated shortly before the Supreme Court ruling that abortion is essential healthcare.

Editor’s note: The abortion landscape is evolving rapidly. Our coverage reflects the most up-to-date information we have at the time of publication. Please contact us if you see anything in our stories that should be updated.

About the law

Type of ban: Total

Exceptions: To preserve the patient’s life; rape

Are there doctors in state currently providing abortions? No

After the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June, Mississippi’s trigger law took effect on July 7, banning all abortions except when the patient’s life is threatened or for pregnancies caused by rape. The law makes no exception for incest.

The trigger law was temporarily blocked when the state’s lone clinic sued to stay open, arguing the state Supreme Court had previously ruled that a state constitutional guaranteed right to privacy included a right to an abortion. However, the court declined the clinic’s request to block the law and the clinic has ceased providing abortions.

According to the language of the law, Mississippi’s abortion ban carries prison sentences of 1-10 years for anyone who performs or attempts to perform or induce an abortion. The law does not penalize patients for seeking an abortion. It also does not include any language prohibiting patients from seeking abortions outside of the state.

Who will enforce abortion-related laws? The state attorney general, Lynn Fitch, and local district attorneys, are responsible for enforcement. However, at least three district attorneys—Shameca Collins, representing the state’s 6th judicial district, Jody Owens, representing Hinds County, and Daniella Shorter, representing the state’s 22nd district—have signed a pledge stating that they will not prosecute abortions.

Access to abortion medication via telemedicine

Mississippi law bans abortion medications via telemedicine. The most common medication is mifepristone. U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland has said that states cannot ban mifepristone because it has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Aidaccess.org, an international nonprofit, provides doctor-led consultations and mails abortion pills to any state in the country.

ACOG recommends a combined mifepristone–misoprostol regimen for a medication abortion up to 10 weeks gestation, which, according to the organization, can safely be administered at home.

Closest abortion provider to major metro areas in Mississippi (as identified by ineedana.com)

Jackson metro area

Columbus Women’s Health Organization

  • 3850 Rosemont Drive, Columbus, GA 31904
  • Phone: (706) 323-3816
  • Medication abortions available up to 6 weeks

CHOICES. Memphis Center for Reproductive Health

  • 1203 Poplar Ave, Memphis, TN 38104
  • Phone: (901) 274-3550
  • Medication and in-clinic abortions available up to 6 weeks

Oxford metro area

CHOICES. Memphis Center for Reproductive Health

  • 1203 Poplar Ave, Memphis, TN 38104
  • Phone: (901) 274-3550
  • Medication and in-clinic abortions available up to 6 weeks

Columbus Women’s Health Organization

  • 3850 Rosemont Drive, Columbus, GA 31904
  • Phone: (706) 323-3816
  • Medication abortions available up to 6 weeks

Hattiesburg metro area

CHOICES. Memphis Center for Reproductive Health

  • 1203 Poplar Ave, Memphis, TN 38104
  • Phone: (901) 274-3550
  • Medication and in-clinic abortions available up to 6 weeks

Columbus Women’s Health Organization

  • 3850 Rosemont Drive, Columbus, GA 31904
  • Phone: (706) 323-3816
  • Medication abortions available up to 6 weeks

Gulfport-Biloxi metro area

Planned Parenthood, Tallahassee Health Center

  • 2618 W Tennessee St, Tallahassee, FL 32304
  • Phone: (850) 574-7455
  • In-clinic abortions up to 14 weeks and 6 days, and medication abortions up to 11 weeks

North Florida Women’s Services

  • 2412 West Plaza Drive, Tallahassee, FL 32308
  • Phone: (850) 877-3183
  • In-clinic abortions up to 11 weeks and 6 days, and medication abortions up to 11 weeks

Columbus Women’s Health Organization

  • 3850 Rosemont Drive, Columbus, GA 31904
  • Phone: (706) 323-3816
  • Medication abortions available up to 11 weeks

Additional resources:

The Reckon state-by-state abortion guides were reported by Abbey Crain, Anna Claire Vollers, Anna Beahm, John Hammontree, Sarah Swetlik of the Alabama Education Lab and Erica Hensley of the Fuller Project. Clarissa Brooks, Alexis Wray, Katie Johnston, Madison Underwood and Abbey Crain provided graphics. R.L. Nave, John Hammontree, Ruth Serven Smith and Kelly Scott edited the guides.

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