On Saturday, anti-abortion protestors held their final event of an eight-day protest outside of the Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The protests, organized by Operation Save America (OSA), were an unsuccessful effort to shut down the last abortion clinic in Mississippi in an attempt to make Mississippi the first ‘abortion-free’ state in America. Pro-choice advocates from the Feminist Majority Foundation and the National Organization of Women came out to lend resources and support, allowing the clinic to function normally.
OSA sparked controversy in Jackson over the past week. In addition to yelling at people entering the clinic, singing, praying, and reading Bible verses over loudspeakers, anti-abortion protestors paraded around an aborted fetus in a vacuum-packed bag, destroyed a Quran on the steps of Mississippi’s capitol, and shredded a rainbow gay pride flag. OSA’s outrageous tactics turned off many locals – pro-choice and pro-life alike. On Friday, several organizations gathered at the state’s capitol to condemn OSA’s activities. Michelle Colon, president of the Jackson NOW, spoke of the solidarity among groups: “Everybody here is not pro-choice. We rose to the occasion to defend one another when we saw bigotry, hatred and violence being incited by the other side,” the Clarion Ledger reported.
The clinic is facing yet another week of anti-abortion protests from July 30 to August 4 from a group called Oh Saratoga. According to Oh Saratoga’s website, the group is “headed to Mississippi for the summer tsunami against that state’s final abortuary.”