Dr. Carl Reddix, who was kicked off the Mississippi Board of Public Health in 2012 for
his loose association with the state's sole remaining abortion clinic.
The powerful Mississippi Board of Public Health has four vacancies to fill come the end of June. Two current members have been
by Republican Gov. Phil Bryant for six-year terms and two new nominees will fill the slots of two departing members.
One of those nominees is Terri Herring, director of the Pro-Life America Network, an organization that has worked to shut down the state's only abortion clinic and get a "personhood" amendment passed by the voters that would declare human life begins when an egg is fertilized and thereby ban all abortion. Fifty-five percent of voters in conservative Mississippi shot down a personhood amendment on the ballot in 2011.
If confirmed, Herring, a college drop-out who has no medical education or training and has been an activist in the anti-abortion movement for 27 years, will replace Ellen Williams, a registered nurse with a doctorate in administration who is dean of the Division of Nursing at Northwest Mississippi Community College.
In a state with a black population of 37 percent, the 11-member health board has one African American member. It would have had two if Republican Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves hadn't kept the nomination of OB/GYN Dr. Carl Reddix from reaching the Senate Health Committee for confirmation last April. Then-Gov. Haley Barbour, also a Republican, had appointed Reddix to fill an unexpected vacancy on the board in the summer of 2011. Reddix served in that post until Reeves's action got him removed 10 months later.
Reddix was ousted
because he had agreed over a decade to provide emergency services to the state's only remaining abortion clinic, the Jackson Women's Health Organization. Reeves's spokewoman said at the time "he felt that [Reddix's] association with the abortion clinic was not appropriate in a role that would shape health policy for the state." Reeves said he wanted a qualified physician instead.
Reddix, born in the Mississippi coastal city of Biloxi 54 years ago, graduated from Tougaloo College, then earned degrees from Tufts University School of Medicine and Harvard University. He completed his residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Clearly short in the qualifications department. His role for the clinic was straightforward. He didn't ever provide an abortion, but he was ready to provide emergency help if something went medically wrong. He says he was called upon only a couple of times to do so in all the years he agreed to help if the need arose.
The real problem with Reddix was that he had "admitting privileges" at a local hospital. The legislature last year passed a law that requires abortion clinics to hire only those physicians with hospital admitting privileges, a medically unnecessary practice, as a means by which to close the state's last remaining abortion clinic. North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple just signed a similar law designed to close that state's last abortion clinic in Fargo. Read about Reddix's views below the fold.
Comments are closed on this story.