Phil Bryant Wants to Help Women by Closing Mississippi’s Only Abortion Clinic

Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant, the mastermind behind the thankfully-defeated “Personhood Amendment,” has decided that us Democrats love nothing more than aborting babies. It’s just our favorite thing ever. Personally I rank it right up there with going to happy hour and watching new episodes of Mad Men. But clutch your pearls just yet, ladies, Bryant is here to make sure none of us liberals get our talons into any more innocent fetuses, by passing an abortion law so restrictive that it may force the one remaining abortion clinic in Mississippi to close its doors.

I’ve mentioned TRAP laws before (Kansas is a big fan), and Bryant’s newest contribution to the pantheon of WTF, which becomes law July 1st barring any legal injunction, is a doozy. HB 1390 requires the three doctors at the only remaining abortion clinic in the state to be certified OB-GYNs and have admitting privileges at local hospitals, in order to “further protect patient safety.” All of the doctors at the clinic are certified, so that requirement is not a problem, but the admitting privileges is where things get complicated.

Only one of the doctors at the clinic has admitting privileges, because the other two aren’t residents of Mississippi. They are forced to live outside the state and fly in to perform abortions, because “they are routinely threatened and stalked for their work” while in Mississippi.  Additionally, in order to have admitting privileges, hospitals require doctors to provide a certain number of patients per month. As I have previously explained, abortion is a very safe medical procedure when performed properly, with less of a risk than wisdom tooth extraction. The clinic can’t guarantee hospitals enough patients because not enough abortion patients need to go to the hospital. Call me crazy, but I consider that a good thing.

One of the questions I found myself asking as I read through this issue was this: aren’t hospitals required to take all patients, no matter what? That’s why so many uninsured people go to the emergency room – because they can’t be turned away. So if a woman experienced complications from an abortion and had to go to the hospital, she wouldn’t be turned away just because her doctor didn’t have admitting privileges, would she?

Technically, no. But thanks to a little thing called Senate Bill 2619, a woman could be admitted for abortion complications but then be faced with doctors refusing to treat her due to objections of conscience. SB 2619 states: “a health care provider has the right not to participate, and no health care provider shall be required to participate in a health care service that violates his or her conscience” and “no health care provider shall be civilly, criminally, or administratively liable for declining to participate in a health care service that violates his or her conscience.” It gives doctors, and hospitals, the right to refuse treatment because they have a moral objection to whatever the problem is, and they can’t be held liable for whatever happens to the patient. So let’s play this little scenario out: a woman goes to the clinic in Jackson for an abortion. She is one of the 0.5% of women who experiences a serious complication, and goes to the hospital. No doctor in the hospital will take care of her because they don’t agree with abortions, and her doctor from the clinic can’t treat her because he doesn’t have admitting privileges. I think we can all imagine what the possible consequences of this could be.

Phil Bryant is using the B.S.-ridden excuse of passing the new law to “ensure that the lives of the born and unborn are protected in Mississippi.” I think that it is glaringly obvious that the legislation has nothing to do with protecting the safety of women. The abortion clinic already had an agreement worked out with local hospitals that would allow them to transfer patients, should the need arise, so it was not an issue of complications going untreated.

Thanks to Phil, women in Mississippi are soon going to have to travel out of state to get a safe abortion. Since Mississippi is one of the poorest states in the nation, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that the majority of women who are going to need an abortion are not going to be able to afford to travel to get one. According to Senator Dean Kirby: “That’s what we’re trying to stop here, the coat-hanger abortions. The purpose of this bill is to stop back-room abortions.” The logic in that statement is so flawed, you could drive a semi-truck through the holes in it. All this law is going to do is force women to either have children that they can’t afford, or seek dangerous illegal abortions. Women got abortions before it was made legal, so what makes anyone think they are going to stop now?

Even better, according to Bryant’s warped sense of logic, Democrats and liberals should be supporting this bill. On the conservative radio show Today’s Issues, he said:

“You would think that Barack Obama and all those on the left that love so much to talk about women’s health care would rush to support this bill, would just say, ‘absolutely we want the strongest health care, we want admissions privileges, we want that woman that is going through that abortion for her life and safety to be paramount.

…The hypocrisy of the left…is that their one mission in life is to abort children, is to kill children in the womb…They don’t care if the mother’s life is in jeopardy, that if something goes wrong that a doctor can’t admit them to a local hospital, that he’s not certified.” 

All of this unbelievable bullshit spewing from the mouth of the same guy who vowed: “As governor, I will continue to work to make Mississippi abortion-free.” Yes, it really is all about the women, isn’t it, Bryant?

Enough with the old white guys telling me what to do with my body. Seriously.

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