New website launched to connect Mississippi mothers to resources

Published: Oct. 2, 2023 at 8:07 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) -We’ve heard repeatedly the question of what Mississippi is doing to support women and children. It was a central concern after the overturning of Roe versus Wade. One answer is coming in the form of a newly launched website.

Attorney General Lynn Fitch is glad to see this next step in the empowerment movement turned reality.

“In the Mississippi Dobbs case, when we won, we asked the justices to give us the job to take care of women and children,” said Lynn Fitch.

The newly launched Mississippi Access to Maternal Assistance or MAMA site pulls the public and private resources together, allowing women to learn where to go for a wide range of needs, from during pregnancy to after the birth of their child.

“If you’re a young mother, you are looking for opportunities,” explained Fitch. “And it could be to get a job. It could be upskilling for them. Or it could be they’re just in a situation where they need to get their child on the CHIP program, and they don’t know where to go. Because, you know, a lot of those sites are overwhelming.”

Among the resources linked on the site are crisis pregnancy centers. The Vicksburg location’s executive director says the number one resource women need is support to know they’re not alone.

“We are women who understand what you’re dealing with in the moment that you’re in crisis. I have had to make the decision of, you know, my son was very, very ill and in utero, and they wanted me to abort,” said Shannon Bagley, Executive Director of the Crisis Pregnancy Center in Vicksburg. “So, I’ve stood in the place of do I abort? Do I carry? You know, we are not women just coming in and telling you to make a decision because we think it’s the right one. We are women who have stood in those decisions, and we know what it feels like.”

They have seen more clients in the past year. And many times, they hear from women that they had no idea about the variety of free services they offer. That’s why she’s optimistic about the doors the MAMA program will open.

“Anything that can help bring that information to a woman that is in need of it,” added Bagley. “At that moment, she needs. It is absolutely important.”

The program is detailed in a bill from this past legislative session, and it specifies that it will also include a mobile app beginning in 2024.

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