19 Jul MCJ Lawsuit Dismissed in Light of Sale of the Building Housing Mississippi’s Only Abortion Clinic
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 19, 2022
Contact: Carolyn Clendenin, email@example.com
MCJ Lawsuit Dismissed in Light of Sale of the Building Housing Mississippi’s Only Abortion Clinic
Jackson, Miss. – After the overturning of Roe v. Wade, the Mississippi Center for Justice filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Jackson Women’s Health Organization calling for abortions to resume in MS based on the Mississippi Constitution. But after the trial court denied a preliminary injunction and the Mississippi Supreme Court refused to expedite the appeal, JWHO recently agreed to sell the building housing the clinic. As such, MCJ is dismissing its case on the clinic’s behalf. This is explained further in the following statements:
Statement of Rob McDuff of the Mississippi Center for Justice, who is one of the attorneys for the Jackson Women’s Health Organization
“On July 7, Mississippi‘s trigger ban took effect after a state trial court denied our motion to block it. This prohibited the provision of essentially all abortion care in the state and forced Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the state’s last abortion clinic, to close. The Mississippi Supreme Court then declined to hear our appeal on an emergency basis. Diane Derzis, the clinic’s owner, has now sold the clinic’s building in light of the dim prospects for a speedy and meaningful ruling that would allow the clinic to reopen. Accordingly, we have dismissed our case on the clinic’s behalf. If the clinic is not in a position to reopen in Mississippi, it no longer has a basis to pursue this case in the courts.
“Diane’s work is not done and we applaud her commitment to continuing to ensure people can exercise their right to abortion. As she has stated, she is working to open a clinic in Las Cruces, New Mexico, where she can provide abortion care without fear of being put in prison for 10 years. We thank Diane; the clinic’s executive director, Shannon Brewer; and its medical director, Dr. Carr-Ellis; all of the clinic’s employees; and the Pink House Defenders, for the heroic work they have done so Mississippians could make their own decisions about pregnancy and childbirth.”
Statement of Vangela Wade, President and CEO of the Mississippi Center for Justice
“In recent years, the Mississippi Center for Justice, the Center for Reproductive Rights, and the Paul Weiss law firm have filed several lawsuits to keep the clinic’s doors open, and to preserve and expand access to abortion in Mississippi. We will continue to work for the day that right is restored and that every Mississippian has the resources to make their own reproductive and family planning decisions.”
The Mississippi Center for Justice is dedicated to dismantling the state’s culture of inequity and injustice. Support and staffed by attorneys and other professionals, the Center pursues strategies to combat discrimination and poverty statewide.