The right to abortion in the United States. Entrepreneur Diane Derzis: “We are building new clinics”

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Diane Derzis he knew this day would come, but that doesn’t make it any less surreal: “It’s painful,” says Derzis, owner of the Jackson Women’s Health – the Mississippi abortion clinic at the center of the case that the conservatives of the Supreme Court used to overturn 50 years of precedent and abolish the constitutional right to abortion in America.

“I don’t think any of us can imagine how bad it will be,” says Derzis a Vanity Fair a few hours after the Supreme Court published its opinion on the case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health.

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Samuel Alito and the conservative supermajority of the Court ruled that the decision Roe v. Wade of 1973 was “grossly wrong” and they abolished it, ending federal protections for reproductive health care and opening the door to draconian restrictions in nearly half the country – including Mississippi, one of several states with “trigger laws” , a sort of “trigger laws” designed to take effect after the cancellation of the Roe. The ruling didn’t surprise Derzis: Even before a draft of Alito’s majority opinion leaked last month, it was clear that the relentless anti-abortion movement had been encouraged by Donald Trump and by the right court promoted by him. Like other facilities that guaranteed the possibility of abortion, she says she was prepared. For instance, is planning to open a new clinic in New Mexico, where abortion remains legalto help meet the needs of those in neighboring states where it is prohibited.

“We are building clinics”, says Derzis, “and we deal with abortions. We have been doing it for 46 years and we will absolutely continue to do so ».

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But, he says, the project will become more difficult in light of the ruling – particularly for people of color and those who don’t have the means to travel to get treatment.. Derzis, whose first abortion clinic was among those bombed by the anti-abortion activist Eric Rudolph in 1998, he also expects the sentence to lead to “terrifying” threats and violence against those seeking and providing reproductive health care.

“This is the beginning,” says Derzis, whose clinic is the only abortion facility in Mississippi, “These judges have set the stage for violence and disorder and they don’t care. It is a sad day ».

Among the consequences of the decision – which included the conviction of the president Joe Biden and other Democrats and a harsh reprimand from the liberal minority of the three members of the High Court – but there was also the demonstration of anti-abortion demonstrators who gathered outside the Derzis clinic, rejoicing at the sentence and trying to limit access inside and outside the facility. The governor of Mississippi Tate Reevesmeanwhile, he celebrated the decision, saying that his state has “led the nation to overcome one of the greatest injustices in the history of our country.”

The leaders of many other states – including New York, Illinois And California – swore to protect abortion rights, while President Biden promised in a speech that his administration would do what it could to maintain access to the procedure. But the sentence Dobbs represents a seismic shift in American social policy: Americans, most of whom have never lived in the United States where abortion was not a constitutionally protected right, are entering a dark new reality. “It will be difficult,” says Derzis. “For most of these women, even me during my reproductive years, abortion was always available. These women know nothing different. ‘

Source: Vanity Fair

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