(LifeSiteNews) — While the mainstream press has taken pains to present the U.S. Supreme Court’s upcoming review of a Mississippi abortion law as a threat to “women’s healthcare,” significantly less attention has been devoted to the history of the so-called health facility bringing the suit.
Next week, the Court will begin hearing oral arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which concerns Mississippi’s HB 1510 law banning abortions from being committed past 15 weeks for any reason other than physical medical emergencies or severe fetal abnormalities. After its enactment in 2019, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals deemed it unconstitutional because of an “unbroken line dating to Roe v. Wade,” the 1973 ruling which imposed on all 50 states a “right” to pre-viability abortion.
The plaintiff in the case, Jackson Women’s Health Organization (JWHO), is the last abortion facility in the Magnolia State. It also has a record of safety issues and noncompliance with state law longer than a decade.
According to one report from Operation Rescue, in 2009, the Mississippi Department of Health found 18 different violations at JWHO, including failures to train all employees in emergency resuscitation, to enforce medication access policies, or to maintain adequate cleanliness and sanitation. “In fact, inspectors discovered that medical waste, including aborted baby remains, were being improperly stored in cardboard boxes next to the recovery room at a temperature of 68 degrees,” the group’s Cheryl Sullenger said at the time.
That report also revealed that an ambulance was seen picking up an injured abortion patient the year before, and that in 2012, Operation Rescue obtained court documents showing JWHO attempted to conceal the identity of abortionist Bruce Elliot Norman, who had been with the facility less than two weeks at the time but was previously the abortionist on duty “when three abortion patients were hospitalized — one in intensive care — for life threatening abortion complications” in Alabama.
In 2013, LifeSiteNews obtained a complaint sent by Mississippi Right to Life to the state Board of Health about JWHO failing to report any chemical abortions for the preceding five years, as required by state law, despite advertising chemical abortions on its website. Also that year, another ambulance was seen picking up another abortion patient for hospitalization. The abortionist on duty at the time was Norman, who lacked hospital admitting privileges.
In 2018, a woman who went to JWHO for a consultation went into labor and delivered a healthy baby girl. The woman was having an ultrasound to determine how far along she was, but the incident raised questions as to just how late in the pregnancy JWHO, which claims to only abort up to 16 weeks, would have committed the abortion.
It is not unprecedented for abortion businesses at the heart of legal battles to enjoy media reputations as stewards and saviors of women’s health despite serious questions about their own treatment of women, as in the case of the Supreme Court’s 2016 review of a Texas law challenged and defeated by Whole Woman’s Health.
Pro-lifers hope the Mississippi case will turn out better for life, and result in the overturn of longstanding pro-abortion judicial precedent that has long prevented states and the elected branches of government from directly prohibiting abortion. Pro-lifers are particularly anxious to see how former President Donald Trump’s three additions to the Court will come down on the issue.