Dr. Willie Parker explains why he is going to Mississippi to provide abortions to the people who needs them badly in the state. He writes (emphasis his)
In response to a query of why I choose to help women in Mississippi, the fact is that the women most at risk to be harmed by the loss of abortion services there are Black and poor. Twenty percent of all Mississippians live below the Federal poverty line, but 48% of Blacks there do, making it the poorest state in the country, a fact that exacerbates if not causes the life circumstances that lead to abortion. This observation is not to racialize the impending loss of abortion access for all women in the state, but rather indicates that my personal commitment to address the provider shortage there stems in part from my lived experience of growing up as a poor Black child in the south (Alabama) and knowing first-hand the dire circumstances that converge to create desperation for women with unintended or fatally flawed pregnancies. During my clinic days there recently, I counseled a pregnant woman with 5 kids, the youngest who had just died a year ago from cancer, who indicated that she could not care for another child financially or emotionally. She, along with others had traveled from various distances in the state for their first state-mandated counseling visit ,or were returning for their procedure following a second trip from hours away, often complicated by childcare/work considerations and doubled travel costs. They typify the hardships that Mississippi women endure due to the present laws.
Thank you, Dr. Parker for understanding our needs and for going to Mississippi!