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Man uses truck to repeatedly block entrance to Mississippi's only abortion clinic as tensions run high after Roe v. Wade ruling

Kenneth Niemeyer   

Man uses truck to repeatedly block entrance to Mississippi's only abortion clinic as tensions run high after Roe v. Wade ruling
  • The Supreme Court sided with a Mississippi law and ruled 5-4 to overturn Roe V. Wade Friday.
  • Tensions ran high at Mississippi's only abortion clinic on Saturday when a man blocked the clinic entrance.

JACKSON, MS — A man used his truck to block the entrance to Mississippi's only abortion clinic on Saturday as tensions continue to run high at the clinic after the Supreme Court overturned Roe V. Wade earlier in the week.

The Jackson Women's Health Organization, the only abortion clinic in Mississippi, has vowed to remain open for at least nine more days after the Supreme Court voted 5-4 to overturn Roe V. Wade, a landmark decision that legalized abortion nationally.

Mississippi has a trigger law that requires the state attorney general to certify the Supreme Court's decision and allows for the clinic to remain open for 10 days after the certification.

Pro-life demonstrators continued to clash with clinic volunteer escorts, who call themselves Pink House Defenders, on Saturday. The clinic, housed in a large pink building, is commonly referred to locally as the Pink House.

A man in a white truck blocked the entrance to the clinic at least twice on Saturday.

When one patient tried to leave the clinic's parking lot, he quickly pulled his truck in front of the car, blocking it from leaving. When clinic volunteers approached the vehicle, he yelled from his truck that the volunteers "should do a better job of directing traffic" and claimed that he didn't "know where to go."

The trucker driver eventually cleared the entrance. However, A few minutes later, after a woman arrived to deliver supplies to the volunteers, the man returned, blocking her from moving forward as well as the clinic's entrance.

Cars carrying patients and lined up behind the woman's truck for around four minutes while the man refused to move. Clinic volunteers walked to the cars and escorted patients inside until the woman pulled her truck into the clinics entrance, allowing the man to pass in his truck. He yelled, "I just want y'all to go to heaven" and he drove away.

"He gets away with it all the time," Rose Kasrai, a Pink House defender, told Insider.

Kasrai told Insider that the defenders have been frustrated with the Jackson Police Department's responsiveness to pro-life demonstrators at the clinic and that when the police do respond, they are usually reluctant to interact with the demonstrators.

"One of the protesters backed into me, like my person, and they said it was just a misunderstanding," Kasrai said.

Advocates say the best way to support those who can become pregnant in Mississippi is by giving to abortion funds

Pink House defenders told Insider they are still planning to continue fighting for women's rights and the right to have abortions available in Mississippi. Diane Derzis, the clinic's owner, said at a press conference on Friday that "the funding exists" for the clinic to transport people who need abortions in Mississippi to other states once it becomes illegal.

"There are tons of abortion funds out there and resources on if you need an abortion," Ren Allen, another volunteer for the clinic told Insider. "There are funds out there that can help you fund your abortion."

Though she couldn't share specifics for future organizing efforts, Allen encouraged people to donate to the Pink House Fund and other local abortion funds in Mississippi.

"Abortions have basically been illegal for working-class people in the United States forever, because they're so expensive, but abortion funds help gap that a little bit," Allen said.