With Mississippi trigger law in effect, pregnancy resource centers see increased calls

Published: Jul. 7, 2022 at 7:03 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) -Mississippi’s trigger law is now in effect. It effectively bans abortions with exceptions only for rape when there’s a police report and when the life of the mother is in danger. There are 30 crisis pregnancy centers in Mississippi. And state officials including the Attorney General and Governor say those are the next focus of the pro-life movement.

”One thing that we know will happen is that over 60 women a week will be either seeking abortion out of state or they will come for help at these pregnancy centers,” said Terri Herring, Choose Life Mississippi President. “And we want to be there.”

“The minute that Roe versus Wade...like so that was a Friday by Monday, we saw a major increase in calls and have seen an increase ever since,” explained Center for Pregnancy Choice Vicksburg Executive Director Shannon Bagley.

Center for Pregnancy Choices Vicksburg offers women various services from counseling to free pregnancy tests and sonograms.

“We also have a baby boutique, where they can come and get anything they may need...diapers, wipes, clothes, shoes, all of those things, maternity clothes, breast pumps,” added Bagley.

And they work with others community groups to better fill in the gaps for the women, whether that be food or placing them in jobs. And maybe you think the abortion clinic being closed changes the conversations they have with the women. But...

“We’re in a place where no, it’s not available here,” said Michelle Johnson, CPC Vicksburg Client Service Director. “But if it’s avail available in any form, or fashion, we still have a mission, to give education to be here to help to support those who keep their babies, and most of all, be a resource in the community to build families.”

We asked Choose Life Mississippi President Terri Herring if the state is doing enough in the way of support for the women and families. That’s why she says public/private partnerships are what she’s pushing to see more of.

“We’ve seen public fail so many times, I think the problem is that the public doesn’t have the hands the hope, the compassion that a pregnancy center has, we need people helping people,” said Herring.

And she’s hopeful there can be an expansion of services at the centers.

“We would love to see more medical provided through the clinics,” added Herring. “And I believe that’s in our future.”

Improving the process for adopting and foster care are among the items that both Choose Life Mississippi and the Attorney General are calling on the legislature to consider moving forward. There is also a Senate study group that is set to look at those and other issues impacting women, children and families in the state.

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