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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

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Trump case expected to head to the jury today; IN food banks concerned about draft Farm Bill; NH parents, educators urge veto of anti-LGBTQ+ bills; Study shows a precipitous drop in migratory fish populations, in US and worldwide.

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Actor Robert DeNiro joins Capitol Police officers to protest against Donald Trump at his New York hush money trial as both sides make closing arguments. And the Democratic Party moves to make sure President Biden will be on the ballot in Ohio.

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Smokey Bear thought only "you" could prevent forest fires, but decomposing mushrooms may also help, a Native American community in Oregon is achieving healthcare sovereignty, and Colorado farmers hope fast-maturing, drought-tolerant seeds will better handle climate change.

Group offers abortion travel benefits for Mississippi women

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Tuesday, March 5, 2024   

Amid ongoing concerns about reproductive access in the Magnolia State, a Jackson-based organization is offering financial help and other support services to women seeking abortions and other resources. More than 23 million women in the U.S. live in states with abortion restrictions, raising concerns about reproductive rights.

Laurie Bertram Roberts, executive director and co-founder of the Mississippi Reproductive Freedom Fund, said they assist Mississippi women travel out of state to either Illinois, New York or Orlando, Florida, to access abortion care since it is illegal in Mississippi.

"We can help them with travel costs, with helping pay for their procedure. We can give them a mobile abortion doula support person that they can have by default by phone through the process. Just letting folks know that they still can have an abortion outside of Mississippi," she explained.

She said they are no longer able to provide monthly birth-control pills because of a lack of funding. In the meantime, the Mississippi House passed HB 1725. It would provide access to health care via a Medicaid expansion bill for pregnant mothers that are facing a financial hardship. The bill now awaits a vote by the state Senate and approval by Governor Tate Reeves.

Bertram-Roberts said the demographics of women requiring their organization's assistance with reproductive health have grown and changed as a result of the Mississippi abortion ban, and added that they have also had an increase in women needing access to emergency contraception.

"I feel like a lot of people didn't understand how the morning-after pill works for a long time, but now because people who are hyper aware of not wanting to be pregnant. Our demand on how people picking up Plan B has really picked up. We give away about 8,000 units a year if we have them in stock," she continued.

Bertram-Roberts pointed out that they also provide women with diapers, menstrual-cycle products, food from their pantry, library resources, condoms and pregnancy tests. Mississippi legislators in the state House have proposed eight bills this year to either tighten abortion laws or repeal abortion restrictions.


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