Health

Woman gives BIRTH during appointment at Mississippi's only legal abortion clinic

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  • A woman who came to the only abortion provider in the state of Mississippi seeking information about ending her pregnancy ending up giving birth there
  • Clinic physician Dr Bruce Norman delivered a baby girl to the woman on Wednesday, at the Jackson Women’s Health Organization located in Jackson 
  • Clinic director Shannon Brewer described the experience to DailyMail.com, saying, ‘The whole thing happened within about a 20-30 minute span’
  • Both the mother and daughter are in good health, Brewer said 

Stephanie Haney For Dailymail.com

A woman gave birth to a daughter at the only legal abortion clinic in the state of Mississippi on Wednesday.

The baby was delivered by clinic physician Dr Bruce Norman at the Jackson Women’s Health Organization located in Jackson.

‘The whole thing happened within about a 20-30 minute span,’ clinic director Shannon Brewer told DailyMail.com on Thursday. 

Brewer shared as much as she could about the surprising event, without revealing any personally identifying information about the mother and child, who she said are both in good health.

A woman went to a consultation to see about terminating her pregnancy and ended up giving birth to a daughter at the Jackson Women's Health Organization (pictured), which is the only legal abortion clinic in the state of Mississippi on Wednesday

A woman went to a consultation to see about terminating her pregnancy and ended up giving birth to a daughter at the Jackson Women’s Health Organization (pictured), which is the only legal abortion clinic in the state of Mississippi on Wednesday

‘Based on the appearance of the child that was delivered, it seemed as though the woman had come to full term in her pregnancy,’ Brewer said.

But Brewer said her team never had the chance to perform an ultrasound to determine exactly how far along the woman was into her pregnancy, because she went in to labor so quickly after arriving at the facility.  

The mother had known she was pregnant for at least a few days, according to Brewer’s account of what the mother said at the clinic.

‘[The patient] said she went to a hospital a few days before [coming to our clinic] and that’s when the hospital staff verified she was pregnant, but didn’t do an ultrasound to determine at what stage she was in her pregnancy,’ Brewer said.

A volunteer (right, in the multi-colored striped shirt) who escorts patients into the Jackson Women's Health Organization, the last abortion clinic in Mississippi, approaches a car as pro-life activists (two at the left in front of red chairs) extend hands holding literature as a car arrives in Jackson, Mississippi on April 5

A volunteer (right, in the multi-colored striped shirt) who escorts patients into the Jackson Women's Health Organization, the last abortion clinic in Mississippi, approaches a car as pro-life activists (two at the left in front of red chairs) extend hands holding literature as a car arrives in Jackson, Mississippi on April 5

A volunteer (right, in the multi-colored striped shirt) who escorts patients into the Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the last abortion clinic in Mississippi, approaches a car as pro-life activists (two at the left in front of red chairs) extend hands holding literature as a car arrives in Jackson, Mississippi on April 5

When asked if the mother seemed surprised or nervous about going into labor during her abortion consultation, Brewer said it was sort of the opposite. 

‘She was quiet and seemed a little shocked, but not very talkative about it,’ she said. ‘But then, it all happened so fast that there wasn’t a lot of conversation going on.’

After the unexpected delivery at the Jackson Women’s Health Organization clinic on Wednesday, both the mother and daughter were transported to a local hospital where they were found to be in good health, according to Brewer.

Even if the woman hadn’t gone into labor, and hadn’t been presumably so far along in her pregnancy, she still wouldn’t have been able to obtain an abortion on Wednesday. 

In the state of Mississippi, there is a 24-hour waiting period required after an initial abortion consultation before a pregnancy can be terminated.

The current internal policy at Jackson Women’s Health Organization is that abortions will be performed up to 16 weeks into a pregnancy.

In March, Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant signed a law into effect to shorten the time period in which abortions can be performed legally, which would ban the procedure after 15 weeks.

That law was almost immediately stayed from going into effect by an order from US District Judge Carlton Reeves, in response to a lawsuit filed by the Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

A temporary restraining order preventing the enforcement of that law is now in place through at least October 24, and as such, the clinic is currently still providing abortion services through 16 weeks.

Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant (left) and Vice President Mike Pence (right) attend the swearing-in ceremony for Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith from in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber after she was sworn in on the Senate floor on April 9, 2018

Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant (left) and Vice President Mike Pence (right) attend the swearing-in ceremony for Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith from in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber after she was sworn in on the Senate floor on April 9, 2018

Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant (left) signed a state law into effect in March to shorten the time period in which abortions can be performed legally in the state, which would ban the procedure after 15 weeks, but the law has been stayed through at least October 24; Bryant is shown with Vice President Mike Pence (right) in Washington, DC on April 9

The clinic has also expanded its lawsuit to include a challenge against the 24-hour waiting period, among other restrictions in the state on performing abortions.

In its claim, the Jackson Women’s Health Organization alleges the state of Mississippi has targeted medical facilities that provide pregnancy termination services with stricter licensing requirements as well as more regulations than other medical clinics. 

If the new Mississippi law is allowed to go into effect, it will become the most aggressive time limit on legal abortions in the United States. 

Previously, Mississippi and North Carolina were both the most restrictive regarding time limits and abortions, with 20 week bans. However, those time periods began being clocked on the first day of a woman’s last menstrual cycle before becoming pregnant.

This means that the 20-week time periods in Mississippi and North Carolina functioned more like 18-week time periods, because all other states with 20-week bans on abortion beginning tolling that time period at conception.

Ovulation, which is when conception becomes possible, typically occurs two weeks after the first day of a woman’s menstrual cycle. 

Jackson Women's Health Organization has filed a lawsuit against the state of Mississippi, alleging the state has targeted medical facilities that provide pregnancy termination services with stricter licensing requirements as well as more regulations than other medical clinics

Jackson Women's Health Organization has filed a lawsuit against the state of Mississippi, alleging the state has targeted medical facilities that provide pregnancy termination services with stricter licensing requirements as well as more regulations than other medical clinics

Jackson Women’s Health Organization has filed a lawsuit against the state of Mississippi, alleging the state has targeted medical facilities that provide pregnancy termination services with stricter licensing requirements as well as more regulations than other medical clinics

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