Mississippi Abortion Continues to Be Blocked
Jul 12, 2012 02:08 PM EDT
JACKSON, Miss. - Late Wednesday, Federal Court Judge Daniel Jordan ruled a continued freeze on the new State's abortion law, which would essentially shut down the State's single abortion clinic, making Mississippi the only abortion-free state in the nation. If he grants the clinic its request for preliminary injunction the case will likely go to trial.
The law was signed by the State's Republican Governor Phil Bryant last week, and would have been implemented at the beginning of July, if it were not blocked.
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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 Jacksons Women's Health Organization (JWHO), since legislatures were well aware that while all the obstetricians and gynecologists at the JWHO are certified, many do not possess privileges.
The Clinic's owner, Diane Derzis, told CBS News, "They're out to close us down."
According to the landmark Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade, states cannot have laws that restrict women's access to getting a first trimester abortion; closing down the only abortion clinic in the state does exactly that.
Judge Jordan told Reuters, "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."