The Pink House Was Attacked Last Night


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.


We’ve called the police and the FBI like we always do.  We are still answering the phones like we always have and always will, no matter what attacks we may face.

Coincidentally, we are currently enduring an extended period of targeted protest by the California based group Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust.  Operation Save America has also come to Mississippi to harass our staff and our patients.  Unfortunately by now we are all “used” to the yelling and shaming these groups frequently bring with them. And even though we are now stripped of part of what makes us feel secure, we will find ways to adapt.  Maybe it will be adding barbed wire to the roof……slowly morphing into a fortress, both intimidating yet reassuring.  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.

But we will always do whatever it takes to make sure our doors open every single Monday morning.

The Pink House is your house. Thank you all for all your continued love and support from around the country.


If you are reading this page, you’re probably already aware that our clinic could possibly be closed at any time and without warning.

Our clinic’s fate and the fate of the women needing our abortion services now lie in the hands of a court.  

Justice may not prevail from the 5th Circuit.  If we are given a negative ruling we will be forced to close our doors immediately.

At this time we are fighting the good fight in the court system.  If the court system fails us, we will need the support of the country.

If you would like to send the incredibly brave staff, doctors, and women of Mississippi a message of encouragement, please write something below.

If you would like to contribute financially to our struggle to stay open and our struggle to make sure the women of Mississippi get the safe abortion care they need, feel free to use the paypal button below.

Just knowing we aren’t alone keeps us going.  One day at a time.

Please check back with this site as we will be giving out regular updates on what is happening with the clinic, how the court rules, and how we handle everything from there.

Here is a recent summary of what is happening:


Win McNamee/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Mississippi has one abortion clinic — a bright pink house flanked by anti-abortion protesters and “This Clinic Stays Open” banners. For the last two years, the clinic, Jackson Women’s Health Organization, has been in danger of closing due to an admitting privileges law. Although the clinic won a major legal victory in July, it looks like the battle over Mississippi’s last standing abortion clinic isn’t over yet: Attorney General Jim Hood wants to reverse the federal appeals court ruling striking down Mississippi’s abortion law. In doing so, the state once again puts the clinic — and its patients — in jeopardy.

Hood reportedly filed a petition on Wednesday requesting the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider its ruling, issued in late July, so that Mississippi can enforce the admitting privileges law. The law, passed in 2012, requires doctors at Jackson Women’s Health Organization to be board-certified and have admitting privileges at a local hospital. However, the clinic’s physicians were denied admitting privileges at seven local hospitals.

Because Jackson Women’s Health Organization would have been forced to close, the appeals court struck down the law. Without an abortion clinic in Mississippi, the law would place an “undue burden” on a woman’s constitutional right to an abortion, the appeals court panel said.

Defendants of the law argued that Mississippi women could travel to nearby states, such as Louisiana or Tennessee, if they needed an abortion. But the 5th Circuit panel didn’t buy that argument:


[We] hold that Mississippi may not shift its obligation to respect the established constitutional rights of its citizens to another state. Such a proposal would not only place an undue burden on the exercise of the constitutional right, but would also disregard a state’s obligation under the principle of federalism — applicable to all fifty states — to accept the burden of the non-delegable duty of protecting the established federal constitutional rights of its own citizens.


When the appeals court panel handed down the ruling last month, Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant, a passionate supporter of the law, released a statement expressing dismay with the court.

I am disappointed that two judges concluded that HB 1390 is unconstitutional. This measure is designed to protect the health and safety of women who undergo this potentially dangerous procedure, and physicians who provide abortions should be held to the same standards as physicians who perform other outpatient procedures.

Bryant added that because the case was heard by a panel of judges and not the full circuit court, he and Hood would be taking legal action to address “the entire court.” In Wednesday’s filing, Hood stated that a separate panel of 5th Circuit judges upheld a similar admitting privileges law in Texas, and so the appeals court contradicted itself. The Associated Press reported it’s uncertain when the court would consider taking on the Mississippi case again.

Mississippi isn’t the only state to get entangled in a legal battle over an admitting privileges law, which is largely known as a TRAP law meant to limit access to abortion rather than improve women’s health care. Just last week, a U.S. judge struck down Alabama’s admitting privileges law, also claiming it placed an “undue burden” on women seeking abortions. In his opinion, Judge Myron Thompson wrote that there was “exceedingly weak” evidence that the admitting privileges law, which would have closed three out of five Alabama abortion clinics, was necessary for the patients’ safety.

Images: Getty Images (2)

Mississippi Could Soon Shut Down Its Only Abortion Clinic

An Appeals Court will consider a state law Monday that would close the state’s last remaining clinic.

(Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

photo of Sophie Novack

April 24, 2014

Mississippi could soon become the first state in the nation without a single abortion provider.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit is set to hear oral arguments next week regarding a 2012 law that would force the only remaining clinic in the state to close immediately.

The legislation is part of a recent wave of antiabortion regulations that have shuttered large numbers of providers in several states. However, the situation in Mississippi is arguably the most extreme, as the state has only one facility offering legal abortions.

The Mississippi law would require all physicians in health centers that perform more than 10 abortions a year to be certified in obstetrics and gynecology and have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.

The law was passed in April 2012 but is not currently being implemented while a challenge continues in the courts. A federal judge issued a preliminary injunction in 2013, saying the law was likely unconstitutional because it would close the lone remaining clinic. The state appealed the decision, sending the case to the 5th Circuit.

Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the one clinic that offers legal abortions in the state, has two providers, neither of which has admitting privileges. Clinic owner Diane Derzis said the facility sees 2,200 women for abortions each year.

The clinic tried to obtain admitting privileges for the doctors after the law was passed, but no hospital would accept them, according to Derzis. “We applied to every hospital—eight to 10 of them,” she said. “The Catholic hospital turned us down immediately. The rest took a while, but turned us down without looking at the physicians. They put in writing that they were unable to handle the public press from this; they were upfront about it. It’s clear the politics prevailed with this whole thing.”

Republican Gov. Phil Bryant has been straightforward with his intention in signing the law, saying he wants to “make Mississippi abortion-free.” Other supporters of the law argue that the regulations are meant to protect women’s health, but opponents say the law works against women’s safety, and they point to Bryant’s statement as evidence the motivation is political and ideological.

Mississippi had the highest teen birth rate in the nation in 2010 and the second highest in 2011, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The state saw 50.2 births per 1,000 women ages 15 to 19, five-tenths of a point behind Arkansas.

Advocates remain uncertain how the 5th Circuit will rule. The court is the same one that upheld the Texas law that is set to close all but six abortion clinics in the state by September, and defended the decision by saying that driving longer distances for the services did not qualify as an “undue burden” for women seeking abortion services.

It’s possible, though, that the judges would be more hesitant in Mississippi, since JWHO is the last provider. If the clinic were to close, women would need to travel to surrounding states like Louisiana or Alabama, both of which are also debating laws that would limit abortion clinics.

Derzis said she intends to “fight to the end” if the 5th Circuit gives her an unfavorable ruling, and would immediately appeal the decision. But without the ability to provide abortions, the clinic would be in trouble because the other services it offers—birth control, pregnancy tests, and more—are not enough financially to keep the clinic open.

The court will consider the state’s appeal Monday, and a decision could come within a few weeks or months. If the judges uphold the lower court’s decision, the law will continue to be put on hold while the case moves forward; if they strike it down, the law will go into effect immediately.

In the meantime, patients are preparing for the worst. “An administrator called to tell me 45 patients showed up [at the clinic] for abortions today,” Derzis said. “They’re not willing to take the risk that they may not be able to be seen next week.”

63 thoughts on “The Pink House Was Attacked Last Night

  1. Thank you for doing what you do.

    I live in Missouri, but I fully support your standing up and working hard for women’s reproductive rights.

    Keep being awesome.

  2. Hang in there, warriors of Jackson Women’s Health Organization! You are an amazing group of people and you inspire those of us who provide reproductive health care in less restrictive parts of the country. Sending you lots of love, support, and solidarity from Maryland… THIS CLINIC STAYS OPEN!

  3. This country stands on the shoulders of people like you. Thank you all for your hard work, your sacrifice of personal safety, and you unwavering (or even wavering!!) commitment to women’s and therefore all Mississippian’s health.

  4. Your bravery is inspiring and brings me to tears. I am so thankful that all of you on staff have made the sacrifices necessary to continue to do this important work. You are not alone in this fight! WE LOVE YOU!!!

  5. I think you are amazing. You have motivated me to find a way to help as well. This is too important a fight to leave to someone else. Fortunately my state is more enlightened than Mississippi. What will the women of Mississippi do if they have no one to turn to?You brave, wonderful people have my respect and my thanks.

  6. I’m not able to contribute financially, but I want to help. Do you need any physical help either in the office or otherwise?


  8. I just read the “Abortion Ministry of Dr. Willie Parker” on Esquire and it was so beautiful, heartbreaking and inspiring. I had my abortion when I was 22, recently graduated from college and a few weeks into my very first job. Thank you for all that you do. Keep up the good fight Mississippi!!! Keeping my fingers crossed for a good outcome in the coming weeks.

  9. Reading about your work in ‘Esquire’ I was impressed by the courage and principled stand of the JWHO team. And I was overwhelmed by the compassion and love you show your patients. Thank you, thank you, thank you. It is heartening to know people like you are out there.

    I hope the 5th circuit will rule wisely. I will check back and try to provide financial support if you are able to stay open. My thoughts are with you, your patients, and your community.

  10. Thank you Dr Parker; thank you Ms Derzis; thank you to all of the brave men and women there who are doing the hard thing, the necessary thing, and the RIGHT thing.

    Never, ever let anyone tell you that you’re not doing the right thing; for all the lives you save, all the pain you take away, and for all of your courage; THANK YOU.

  11. To the Brave Doctors and Staff of JWHO,

    I just read the Esquire article about Dr. Parker. I know that abortion rights are being lost across the country, but this article was horrifying in detailing the lengths to which women are being made to suffer.

    Please stay strong, keep up the much-needed work, and be safe. I *will* be following up with a donation.

    With admiration for your courage,
    Val (in the still-free State of California)

  12. To all the staff at the clinic,
    You are brave
    You are special
    You are needed
    You are kind
    You are inspirational
    You are HELPING!
    Thank you for all of the work you do to help women in their time of need.

  13. Thanks for all you’re doing. I hope you are able to continue providing services. You are a godsend for Mississippi’s women. God bless you.

  14. I grew up in Mississippi. I had an abortion in 1974. I had to go to Alabama to get it. I’m sorry, but the depth of hatred and ignorance in my home state means I will never live there again. Thank you for what you do to help those who need your services.

  15. Stay strong! I read about your work in Esquire, and I am blown away. Completely humbled, and impressed. There’s nothing I can say that will validate the important work you all do, but I wanted to share my support. Thank you for caring for women when others would not, and treating them with kindness and respect.

  16. Blessings upon you all for the amazing work that you do. It is important to stand in the breach and hold the door for women’s right to choose to bring a life into manifestation, or not. I will be donating.

  17. I’m sorry I cannot contribute money at this time but I want to add my voice of support to the all the clinic staff. You do your work and practice medicine out of a conviction of freedom for women. This makes you genuine freedom fighters . Thank you very much ! May you be well and safe and when you put your head down at days end know you have done a righteous days work.

  18. Thank you for the work you are doing! This is the most important woman’s rights issue we face. Access to reproductive services determines the outcome of a woman’s entire life (mine included!), and decides if we’re going to be healthy, happy and productive citizens, mothers or not. It decides if the children we’re not ready for are going experience life as unsafe and stressful or, when we are ready, nurturing and hopeful.

  19. Thank you for the work you are doing on behalf of justice – and kindness. Thank you. I stand with you.

  20. I wasn’t able to get an abortion in 1967 in New York and in hind site I’m glad I didn’t get one. The back room butchers were available in some areas. I have friends who went that route and some of them became barren as a result. I did put my son up for adoption he and I were blessed that the couple wanted another bi-racial child in their home. However I do defend a woman’s right to make her own decision when pregnant and faced with that difficult choice. I am so very touched by all the hard work done by Dr. Parker and the people who are the support staff. I wish I could be there in person to assist in any way. Thank you so much for all the people that you help.

  21. This will NOT stop abortion; only stop safe abortion. Mississippi I learned to spell you long ago; now I spell you as you should be “embarrassed” .

  22. I just read the Esquire article and was moved to tears by the strength, courage, and general awesomeness of the staff at The Pink House. I was raised in an environment much like MS, and Dr Parker’s words about female sexuality struck a chord with me. I admire and applaud the work you do and the manner in which you do it. Keep fighting the good fight. You’ll be in my thoughts daily.

  23. So very proud of all you’re doing to save the clinic. I believe in in women and our rights and freedom. My heart and thoughts are always with you.

  24. We need to help these people with this if we put our self in there place and we needed this done cause you were raped or some things like that you wouldn’t want them to tell you can’t get this done

  25. Thank you for standing up for women during a time and in a place where that is a increasingly unpopular position. I read about The Pink House in the recently published Esquire piece about Dr. Parker and I am so grateful for the staff and volunteers of The Pink House for bravely standing up for what is right – helping women when they are desperately in need. Your compassion, dedication, thoughtfulness and determination are absolutely inspiring.

  26. I am writing in support to keep Jackson Women’s Health Organization clinic open. I am a Mississippian, born and raised, though I do not live there now. Governor Bryant is putting not only his own constituents at grave risk, but others who come to this clinic in hopes of ending a pregnancy that is not wanted, an accident, the result of a crime, that can lead to a child being neglected, mental health issues for the mothers, financial and emotional hardships, and being ostracized by your own family. The protestors make an already difficult and agonizing decision even worse and I can honestly say that their behavior sometimes gives these young women the strength to know they are doing the right thing. The exact opposite of what the protestors want to accomplish.
    Women and yes, some girls, need the ability to end a pregnancy without further restriction. The hospitals that choose NOT to grant clinics and doctors privileges are not following the hippocratic oath taken by the very medical staff they employ. They do not deserve to be operating if they are going to refuse privileges to doctors that are working to help women in dire straits and/or with medical conditions that could put them and any fetus in danger; thus, lowering the level of poverty, child abuse and neglect.
    I support this clinic and the physicians and staff that work hard to keep going every day in spite of those hateful and judgmental people that say they are protesting as “good” Christians.
    The people that operate this clinic are obviously caring, compassionate and show great concern for their patients. If only every doctor gave his/her patients the time that Dr. Parker does!!!
    Please keep this clinic open and do not impose any other unnecessary restrictions on them!!!

  27. So proud of all of you for standing tall for women. It brings me tears of relief and joy to hear of your kindness and compassion.

  28. Hey just letting you know you aren’t alone when it comes to your support. This whole situation sucks, but hopefully the courts will do what’s right and let you remain open. Keep fighting for women’s health and the right for women to choose!

  29. After reading the article of the abortion ministry of Dr. Willie Parker, I feel so much gratitude toward the brave staff, doctors and women of this clinic. Honestly, you shouldn’t have to feel brave because this is for the health of a women and her choices. Being brave means to be confronted with opposing beliefs, to an extreme measure, and I wish this was not the case in Mississippi because when a women knows what is good for herself, she should have the comfort and ability to act upon those decisions. Unfortunately, the political environment in Mississippi is enveloped with ways of thinking that put upon oppression on these women. These women especially are not truly free, and it makes me enraged. I am 17 years old, residing just outside Washington DC and I wish to help in any way I can to keep this clinic running. Dr. Willie Parker has become an inspiration to me with his beliefs and need for basically women’s freedom. Although I am not religious, I will have these clinics in my thoughts and hopes for a better outlook in the future. To any spirit or gods of higher power in this universe, please help keep this clinic and it’s people in good hands.

  30. Hi, I believe in a women’s right to make decisions about her own body. I admire and respect you for the hard work you do, and I sincerely hope you can keep doing it. No women would take this decision lightly; it is a hard decision but it may be the right one for her. Good for you and keep up the good work. Don’t let politicians and religious fanatics make decisions about things that shouldn’t concern them.

  31. Long live the Pink House!! I just made a donation — a small one, but I hope every little bit helps. I can’t express the rage I felt reading that Gov. Bryant explicitly stated he wants to “make Mississippi abortion-free.” What a misguided approach to protecting the women — and children! — of Mississippi. Please, please, keep doing what you are doing, healing the lives of women from all over the state. You are a beacon in the darkness for all of them.

  32. Please keep up the good work, keep your spirits up, knowing that you are truly helping people. Every woman should have the right to make her own choices regarding what is best for her health, reproduction, body and should continue to have access to a safe place to help make those choices possible!

  33. What you are doing is so, so important. It is helping women in their time of need. It is saving women’s lives. Thank you.

  34. Keep up the fight. Do not lose hope. You are helping women, and when you help women, you help everyone, men, women and children. Stand strong!

  35. The Talmud says, “God is urgent about justice, for upon justice the world depends.” You are doing the work of justice where it is urgently needed; you are doing God’s work. I hope that in the future the people who persecute you and the women you help will learn better.

  36. Thank you for standing up for these women. I’m in Chicago, and I know that even in a “progressive thinking” big city, we can never take these rights for granted.

  37. Thank you for being all that you are for so many women, for comforting them, supporting their decisions, and providing safe and legal care that they deserve. YOU are faith in action. The recent article about your doctor has had a huge impact on my beliefs on this issue (that were already pro-choice), which I did not think could be stronger. Thank you!

  38. I read the story about Dr. Parker and the clinic on Facebook. You are fine, brave people doing very important work and I thank you. As an older woman who had two abortions in my younger days, and went on to raise a happy family when I was in a position to support children, I thank you. I am pleased to send a contribution to help with your important work.

  39. I just read the article on Dr. Parker. NC is having some of the same struggles right now, and this just rooted more firmly in my own mind that women’s health care is complicated. Having babies is even more complicated. I have always said I never want an unwanted child to be born, and stand by this. Thank you for your work. Thank you for saving lives. Thank you for helping to protect women who are already living, breathing, continue their lives. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
    Katherine Robbins

  40. Keep fighting the good fight! Thank you for doing what you to to help women of Mississippi in their time of need, and thank you for what you represent to women everywhere, who should have the right to make decisions about their own bodies.

  41. Dear Dr Parker:

    I am writing to you from Vancouver, in Canada, where abortion is free and available on demand. I’m sick and teary about the persecution in Mississipi, Texas, other states, other countries, and the women who suffer from it. I wish I could help, with money or as an escort, or whatever, but I’m sad that I can’t. All I can do is send an email of support and respect and admiration for your commitment and courage. Thank you for what you are doing. The words are too small to convey my feelings properly, but thank you so much. Thank you for helping these women.

    Respectfully and sincerely,

    Sheila Schierbeck

  42. Dr. Parker and staff,

    I recently read the Esquire piece that details your courage and commitment to supporting women in Mississippi and beyond. It made me weep. I have tears in my eyes as I write this, thinking about each of you and the incredible courage, compassion, and empathy that you demonstrate amid a context that is challenging and, to be sure, sometimes threatening.

    I served in the Peace Corps in West Africa and a large part of my work with girls in my community focused on empowerment, including reproductive health education. Now I live in Washington, DC and work on policy issues around global gender-based violence. My job focuses on trying to convince Members of Congress that we need to do more for women and girls at home and abroad. We spend a lot of time talking–about policies, politics, budgets, and hypotheticals, but the heart of the matter lies beyond all that, with people like you, who work tirelessly to support women facing challenging situations and difficult decisions. I am awed by what you do; you give me hope.

    All this to say, thank you. Thank you for your courage of conviction and your bravery. Thank you for not giving up despite the profound challenges you face. Thank you for sharing your stories and thank you for doing what few people are strong enough to do.

    In solidarity and with appreciation,

    Chrissy Hart

  43. Hang in there – you are not along. We thank you for your service to these women. Your work is so important and you are all incredibly brave.
    Thank you.

  44. You all are an inspiration! I read about your clinic in Esquire and was moved by the powerful story of the Dr. Parker and the Pink House. As a medical student, these stories as well as the current influence politics and religion have in regulating (and constricting) women’s reproductive freedom, serve as motivation for a career in Ob-Gyn and women’s health. Keep on fighting!

  45. Just read the article on Esquire about your clinic and the work of Dr. Willie Parker. I grew up in the South, and miss many things – but I don’t miss the belligerent policing of other people’s choices that’s so common there. I’ve been through a picket line myself.

    Thank you for the incredible work you are all doing; you bring hope, and strength, and life to so many people. I hope there’s still someone with some sense left in the legislature to allow you to carry on. My thoughts are with you.

  46. Thank you Dr Parker and everyone there who works so bravely and selflessly to help women maintain control of their own bodies. I am almost 60 and had an abortion at 21. I am so grateful that it was legal, in my own town, affordable and provided by a medical professional. I used birth control but still got pregnant. It happens.
    No one wants to have an abortion. No one makes the decision easily. Every woman knows it’s ending a potential life. But sometimes it is the most responsible choice.
    In my 30′s I gave birth to two sons. When I was ready to be a good mother.
    Hard to understand how people can think an unwanted child is ever a good thing.

  47. I just read the Esquire article. What a great piece of journalism. My deepest admiration to Dr. Parker and his service to the women of the south he treats, and the escorts and workers at these clinics. Please don’t give up. You are providing vital services in a time of real concern about women’s ability to control their own reproductive health and choices. I am truly concerned about the world my daughter will inherit regarding the issue of her own reproductive choices and control. Keep fighting the good fight.

  48. I want to let you know that you have people standing with you even from afar. You are doing something that is difficult, but enormously important, and I hope that you find justice in the courts.

    Be well, and keep fighting the good fight.

    Lauren C.

  49. Just heard a profile with the good doctor on NPR this afternoon and now read the Esquire piece. I am a pro-choice, Republican Catholic. God bless the clinic and all of its staff and supporters for your bravery and for preserving the safety and freedom of families.

  50. I read about you guys in Esquire and I want to thank Dr . Parker for the work he’s doing, and all the staff and volunteers of the Pink House. You all mean the world to women and their freedoms. Thank you.

  51. Thank you for doing what you are doing. People like you and the services and support that you provide are a true blessing.

    Wishing you love and blessings and safety and strength.


  52. I’m from New York State, and I’ve grown up with the notion that I will always have abortion as an option. It’s recently hit me hard how few women have that comfort, and they all should. All women should have access to safe, affordable, non-judgmental medical care and sole jurisdiction over when or if they want to give birth or become a mother. I salute you and all that you do, and sincerely pray for a day when all states in this country will have so many amazing abortion clinics it will be hard to choose which one to use.

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