Bloomberg News

Mississippi Ordered Not to Enforce Part of Abortion Law

April 16, 2013

Mississippi was barred by a judge from enforcing a regulation requiring abortion clinic doctors to have hospital admitting privileges, which may allow the state’s only abortion clinic to remain open while it fights the law in court.

U.S. District Judge Daniel Jordan in Jackson, Mississippi, said the Jackson Women’s Health Organization faces closure after its physicians were rejected by hospitals. That would place an undue burden on women seeking the procedure because they’d have to travel to another state for a legal abortion, according to Jordan’s order yesterday.

Mississippi’s law, initially set to take effect July 1 of last year, requires physicians associated with an abortion facility also to be certified or eligible in obstetrics and gynecology. Jackson Women’s Health Organization filed suit on June 27, arguing the regulations would violate a woman’s constitutionally protected right to be able to obtain an abortion. The state would be the first in the U.S. without a dedicated abortion clinic if the facility is forced to close.

“The court concludes that the irreparable injuries alleged are sufficiently imminent to justify preliminary injunctive relief at this time,” Jordan wrote. “The threatened injury outweighs any harm that will result if the injunction is granted.”

Jan Schaefer, a spokeswoman for Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood, didn’t immediately return a call and an e-mail after regular business hours yesterday seeking comment on the ruling.

The case is Jackson Women’s Health Organization v. Currier, 12-00436, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Mississippi (Jackson).

To contact the reporter on this story: Karen Gullo in San Francisco at kgullo@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net


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