Will Mississippi Become the First Abortion-Free State?
Jul 11, 2012 02:14 PM EDT
JACKSON, Miss. - On Wednesday, the State court is set to rule on new abortion law passed less than two weeks ago, which was temporarily restrained by Federal court judge Daniel Jordan last week.
The law which would essentially shut down the state's single abortion clinic, Jacksons Women's Health Organization (JWHO), and make Mississippi the first abortion-free state in the country. The law was signed by the State's Republican Governor Phil Bryant.
The law requires only authorized obstetricians and gynecologist with privileges to admit patients to a local hospital to perform abortions. The legislation was seen by many pro-choice activists as a strategy to close the state's only abortion clinic without directly confronting the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling, since legislatures were well aware that while all the obstetricians and gynecologists at the JWHO are certified, many do not possess privileges.
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Judge Jordan realising that the law was founded on political intentions without any medical or health justification, issued a temporary halt on the law, which would have been effective since July 1.
Judge Jordan told Reuters, "Though the debate over abortion continues, there exists legal precedent the court must follow...In this case, plaintiffs have offered evidence - including quotes from significant legislative and executive officers - that the act's purpose is to eliminate abortions in Mississippi...They likewise submitted evidence that no safety or health concerns motivated its passage. This evidence has not yet been rebutted."
The New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights on behalf of the Jacksons Women Health Organization filed suit against the State health department citing that the primary purpose of the law was to put the state's lone abortion clinic out of business.
Mick Bullock, state spokesman told Reuters, "The federal judge's decision is disappointing, and Governor Bryant plans to work with state leaders to ensure this legislation properly takes effect as soon as possible."
If the decision is overturned in the hearing Wednesday, then Mississippi will be the only state in the nation that does not have an abortion clinic.