For a better experience please change your browser to CHROME, FIREFOX, OPERA or Internet Explorer.

Threats and harassment develop for clinic escorts and sufferers at Jackson Ladies’s Well being Group

Posted: Apr 21, 2021 / 11:03 PM CDTUpdated: April 21, 2021 / 11:03 pm CDT

JACKSON, miss. (WJTV) – Fondren Township continues to feel harassed and threatened by anti-election protesters outside the Jackson Women’s Health Organization clinic.

Protests and prayer meetings are nothing new outside of the state’s only abortion clinic. But more people show up every week with loud microphones and speakers, creating a hostile atmosphere for patients.

“You don’t have to help her kill her child, sir,” a man yelled at the patients. “This is abundant slavery to murder babies,” yelled another man into a megaphone over the fence.

The clinic is open on each of the three days of the week. Such interactions are constant for patients trying to get to their appointments.

“You’re on a megaphone yelling, please don’t kill your baby. If you go in there you’ll still be the mother of a dead baby. People yell at you and say you’re going to Hell,” said Pink House defense attorney -Monitoring organizer Derenda Hancock explained. “When I stand on a ladder and look over a privacy fence in a medical facility, I don’t see that there is nothing illegal about it.”

Clinic escorts must direct cars to drive in and out of the clinic while anti-election protesters try to block the driveway and then troll patients as they cross the parking lot.

“It can be a stressful situation for someone trying to access an abortion because they don’t know what is going on in their life,” Clinic Escort Ellie Rome told us. “Or why did they make that decision because you never know what is going on in someone’s life. It bothers me so much because they don’t know these people. “

“Scared is probably an understatement because a lot of women come here alone,” added Hancock. “With people trying to stop you from standing in front of your car and screaming loudly, I can’t imagine the experience itself.”

Despite clear violations of Mississippi state law and Jackson city ordinances against noise complaints and public disturbance. These groups get away with almost no penalty.

“Law enforcement leaves her alone in all respects,” said Kim Gibson of the Pink House Defenders. “You can bring these ladders with you, be as loud as you want, and do what you want. We can’t even get force entry. “

A 2008 and 2014 consent decree with Pro-Life Mississippi said Jackson illegally used their signs, special events, and noise ordinances. The city was ordered to pay Pro-Life Mississippi and protest leaders $ 5,000 for full claims settlement. This declaration of consent expired in 2017. However, the volunteers working with the clinic say the informed consent form is still in effect.

While we were there, we met a woman with Pro-Life Mississippi who was trying to peacefully hand out leaflets to patients with her versions of alternatives to abortion. Your only goal to claim is to fight for the unborn child without bothering others. Lately, clinic escorts have also brought pepper spray with them for self-defense when anti-election protesters become too hostile. You can find more examples of these encounters here.