The owner of Mississippi state’s only abortion clinic promised at a Friday afternoon news conference to stay open and continue providing services to women for the next 10 days, hours after the United States Supreme Court has ruled eliminating the constitutional right to abortion nationwide. .
“We continue to provide services, and women like me, and there are many across the country, will do the same. And I tell you today that we are not going to bed. We’re not giving up,” said Diane Derzis, owner of the Jackson Women’s Health Organization.
Under Mississippi law, the abortion ban triggered by today’s Supreme Court ruling will go into effect 10 days after Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch certifies the ruling. Fitch has not announced any certification plans.
“So that means we will be open for the next 10 days and seeing patients for the next 10 days. Even if they have to do what they have done so often and it comes through this type of terrorism,” Derzis said, referring to anti-abortion activists who have frequently gathered near the clinic.
“I will tell you that any patient who contacts us, we will see it. We will make sure to see them during those 10 days,” Derzis said. “A woman shouldn’t have to leave the state to get medical care.”
Beginning around 4 a.m. local time on Saturday, anti-abortion activists began showing up at the clinic, according to CNN’s Nadia Romero.
“Things got really loud, really heated up. The police were called,” she reported, adding that the situation has since calmed down.
“They let women into the facility hours before their technical opening because there was so much chaos outside,” she reported.
Clinic volunteer Kim Gibson told Romero that staff would continue to “put the patient first…in the face of some truly monstrous protesters.”
Romero said the lobby inside was packed Saturday.
Once the Mississippi clinic is forced to close, Derzis said she plans to continue helping women find the services they need.
“It’s funding across the country. So we know how to connect her with those people and figure out what the closest clinic is that you know there will be women who can afford a plane ticket and if they can hop on a plane and get in at Las Cruces, or Baltimore, Maryland or anywhere, Chicago, Illinois, so that’s the easiest place to get her in because her needs have to come first,” Derzis said.
Derzis and his team have begun planning to open a new clinic in Las Cruces, New Mexico, where they will continue to provide services.
Look what happened outside the Mississippi clinic on Saturday morning.