Mississippi’s end run around abortion

By L Z Granderson/CNN Contributor

The only remaining abortion clinic in Mississippi could be forced to close under a new state law.

Mississippi may be the fattest state in the country. And it may be among the least educated and have provided the backdrop to some of the country’s most heinous displays of racism.

And you can dismiss its lawmakers as just a bunch of dumb, backwoods hicks if you think that makes for good humor in other parts of the country. But then consider this: It’s possible its legislature has cannily unlocked a way to make abortion illegal without having to overturn Roe v. Wade.

The state has instituted a series of unreasonable regulations for doctors who perform abortions. Using a practice very similar to the kind of bottlenecking that was done to suppress black votes during the Jim Crow era, Mississippi has systematically squeezed the number of abortion clinics in the state down to just one.

And if a federal court ultimately finds its new regulations constitutional, that one will be gone too. (Wednesday, a federal judge extended his temporary order to let the clinic stay open).

In other words, Mississippi, the dumb little state that supposedly couldn’t, will effectively become the leader in what some call a regressive movement –though a recent Gallup poll suggests it’s not as out-of-touch as they may think.

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