security camera footage of masked intruder

Last abortion clinic in Mississippi attacked in the middle of the night

A couple nights ago, the Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the last standing abortion clinic in all of Mississippi, was attacked and vandalized by a masked intruder who destroyed security cameras and attempted to cut the power lines. 
destroyed security camera

This morning our staff showed up to the clinic and found that our clinic had been vandalized. The security monitor we look at first thing in the mornings was blank. One can’t really imagine the fear that goes through your body when you see that something you always rely on to assure you that you are safe, isn’t working. It’s a sinking feeling. So we went in groups of two to check the outside of the building and found our security cameras destroyed. Someone had come by in the early hours of the morning and knocked them off our building. In the back of the clinic we found our State Mandated generator dismantled and seriously damaged.

A review of our DVR showed that in the early hours of the morning, a masked intruder came onto our property and proceeded to methodically destroy our cameras. Other damage found indicates they were trying to destroy the power lines coming into the building, no doubt hoping to stop all patient care for the near future.

JWHO, known as the Pink House, has recently been targeted by out-of-state sidewalk protestors harassers from the extremist anti-choice groups Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust and Operation Save America. “Of course the goal of the anti-abortion terrorists is to transform a legal, safe, and common medical procedure into a fearful, and traumatic experience for everyone involved,” JWHO writes on their site. “But we will always do whatever it takes to make sure our doors open every single Monday morning.”

Of course, to do so — to ensure that Mississippians have one single place to legally end their pregnancies — the Pink House has also had to engage in a long legal battle, as lawmakers have attempted to use regulations to shut them down and “literally” stop legal abortion in the state.

For now, the clinic’s director explained to Rachel Maddow, JWHO’s staff will be setting up 24-hour watch to ensure that tomorrow — and the next day and the next — they’ll still be there. “We are still answering the phones like we always have and always will, no matter what attacks we may face.”

It should go without saying but I’ll say it anyway: Health care providers shouldn’t have to stay up all night protecting their place of work in order to provide a constitutionally protected medical procedure. That would be police and FBI’s job if they treated attacks like these as the terrorist acts that they truly are.

St. Paul, MN

Maya Dusenbery is executive director in charge of editorial at Feministing. She is the author of the forthcoming book Doing Harm: The Truth About How Bad Medicine and Lazy Science Leave Women Dismissed, Misdiagnosed, and Sick (HarperOne, March 2018). She has been a fellow at Mother Jones magazine and a columnist at Pacific Standard magazine. Her work has appeared in publications like,, Bitch Magazine, as well as the anthology The Feminist Utopia Project. Before become a full-time journalist, she worked at the National Institute for Reproductive Health. A Minnesota native, she received her B.A. from Carleton College in 2008. After living in Brooklyn, Oakland, and Atlanta, she is currently based in the Twin Cities.

Maya Dusenbery is an executive director of Feministing and author of the forthcoming book Doing Harm on sexism in medicine.

Read more about Maya

Join the Conversation