“We’re on pins and needles pertaining to the Supreme Court, but we’ve always been on pins and needles with the law.”
That’s how Shannon Brewer, director of Jackson Women’s Health Organization, described Jackson, Mississippi, now that the city and state is at the center of the biggest abortion rights case in decades.
“It’s a constant battle here, actually,” Brewer said, “because as soon as you get through one hurdle, there’s something else that pops up. The antis are getting worse, the police are doing nothing about it, the city is doing nothing about it. … We have no help, and it’s getting worse. On top of that, we have the Supreme Court [case].”
That case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, could very well mean the end of Roe v. Wade, but a lot needs to happen before we get there, and much of it is a waiting game—dates need to be set, the case needs to get argued, and the justices need to make a ruling.
With so much uncertainty ahead for the next year, Rewire News Group‘s senior vice president and executive editor, Jessica Mason Pieklo, moderated a conversation with some of the important people on the ground who are doing the necessary and critical work of providing care, combatting disinformation, and helping vulnerable people navigate a morass of regulations in the South.
- Shannon Brewer, director of Jackson Women’s Health Organization
- Dr. Leah Torres, West Alabama Women’s Center medical director
- Laurie Bertram Roberts, Yellowhammer Fund executive director
- Erica Hensley, Mississippi-based freelance journalist
A few highlights from the conversation:
- Abortions don’t happen in a vacuum. Conversations about abortion bans can’t ignore issues like clean water and access to education. Bertram Roberts has led mutual aid efforts during a water crisis in the state.
- Decimating abortion access isn’t just going to affect the South—the impact will be felt in the North and also the Midwest.
- Lawmakers in Mississippi have spent millions of dollars defending unconstitutional abortion bans—while simultaneously refusing to expand Medicaid.
Watch the full panel below: