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Mississippians rising to help moms and...

Mississippians rising to help moms and children Post-Dobbs

By: Anja Baker - June 25, 2023

Long before Mississippi became ground zero for the precedent-setting case, the pro-life safety net of care was in place and growing here.

One year ago, we were awaiting a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. After an unprecedented Supreme Court leak of a draft opinion in the case, all eyes were on Mississippi.

On the morning of June 24th, the Court released the decision that would add Roe v. Wade to the ash heap of history and begin the new Dobbs era.

In its wake, the abortion industry has promoted one false narrative after another, claiming women need abortion to succeed in life. Instead of addressing the underlying circumstances in a woman’s life that have caused her to experience a time of crisis, the abortion industry offers a ‘quick fix’ solution.

Instead of offering women real choices and help, the abortion industry pits mother against child, isolating her in her circumstances, most often without follow up physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual care.

Long before Mississippi became ground zero for the precedent-setting case, the pro-life safety net of care was in place and growing here.

While I often hear stories about all that Mississippi lacks, I have the honor of witnessing the depth of our love and care for vulnerable mothers and their children. The Dobbs decision only lit a more urgent fire under providers and ministry leaders here in The Hospitality State.

We know when a woman faces an unexpected pregnancy, the pregnancy isn’t the first crisis. We know abortion won’t pull a woman out of poverty, liberate her from an abusive boyfriend, or help her find recovery when she is struggling with addiction. 

While the abortion industry gives, or mails, a woman pills and pressures her to abort, the pro-life movement meets her in her moment of greatest need and walks beside her, offering real options and a lifelong community of support.

And this pro-life support isn’t “just a prayer and a pack of diapers.” It’s hundreds of organizations with thousands of staff and volunteers fueled by countless donors across our state. It’s organizations offering pregnancy medical support, STI testing and treatment, case management, sonograms, quality OB/GYN care, lactation support, education and workforce training, and work opportunities.

There are ministries providing financial assistance, transportation, food and nutrition, clothing and household goods, baby items, housing, legal support, addiction and suicide intervention, and refuge from domestic violence or human trafficking. Providers offer counseling, abortion recovery, disability support, prenatal diagnosis care, loss support, childcare help, children’s healthcare, parenting education, adoption services, and foster support.

Name a category of care listed above, and I’ll show you the best people Mississippi has to offer, border to border, across our state. There is still work to be done and the need is growing. More than ever, I see men and women in our communities stepping up to meet it with growing staff, facilities, and programs and the unconditional love that has always been at the heart of our movement.

In Mississippi, we know that women need comprehensive resources and care. So, we offer her that support, empower her to choose life, and encourage her as she plans for her and her baby to thrive. We have over 30 pregnancy help centers that are connected to a vast safety net of life-affirming support services in each county.

I’ve met with hundreds of Mississippians who are steadfast in their love and support for women facing unexpected pregnancies. I’ve had a front row seat as churches, community organizations, and individuals have stepped up to meet the needs of our local women and families.

In Corinth, for example, four organizations and dozens of churches work in tandem to offer sonograms, parenting education, counseling, material support, transportation help, and more – all free of charge and regardless of insurance or Medicaid coverage.

Providers are combining efforts to offer wrap-around services, and some of the most rural parts of our state have the most impressive client support systems. Although often untold, the life-changing impact of this community of support is vast and far from unfelt by the mothers and children of our state.

As the pro-life movement celebrates the one-year anniversary of Dobbs, there are opportunities all around us to be a part of the culture of life. Many Mississippians are celebrating by continuing support through Attorney General Lynn Fitch’s Dobbs Anniversary Virtual Donation Drive.

Through her Empowerment Project, which launched various pro-woman, pro-life bills during legislative session, she has invited other Attorneys General across the nation to co-host this virtual donation drive with us at Her PLAN. With nine states and 19 Mississippi cities represented, it is a sweet reflection of the servant heart of our state.

One year into the Dobbs era, Mississippi stands more ready than ever to continue our loving service to women and their babies and empower them to thrive.

About the Author(s)
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Anja Baker

Anja Baker is Mississippi Coordinator for Her PLAN, a pro-life resource platform for mothers and children. A graduate of Madison County Schools and Mississippi State University, she resides with her husband and children today in Brandon.
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