Court rules in favor of Mississippi’s one licensed abortion clinic


FILE – This Nov. 21, 2013 file photo shows anti abortion protester Mary McLaurin calling out to a patient hidden on the other side of a sign outside the Jackson Women’s Health Organization clinic in Jackson, Miss. A federal appeals court panel ruled Tuesday, July 29, 2014 that a Mississippi law that would close the state’s only abortion clinic is unconstitutional. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)

A U.S. Court of Appeals ruled this week in favor of Mississippi’s one licensed abortion clinic in a case over state requirements for abortion providers.

The court found a 2012 law, HB 1390, which requires physicians who perform abortions to be board-certified OB-GYNs and have admitting privileges at a local hospital, placed an undue burden on abortion rights. Two physicians from Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the state’s one clinic, sought admitting privileges at seven Jackson-area hospitals, but were denied, according to court documents posted by the Jackson Free Press. The physicians then sought a waiver from the state, but were also denied, and the state found the clinic was not in compliance with the law.

The court found the clinic demonstrated  HB 1390′s requirements, “imposes an undue burden on a woman’s right to choose an abortion in Mississippi, and is therefore unconstitutional,” according to court documents.

Gov. Phil Bryant (R) said in a statement he was disappointed by the ruling.

“The measure is designed to protect the health and safety of women who undergo this potentially dangerous procedure, and physicians who provide abortions should be held to the same standards as physicians who perform other outpatient procedures.”

A spokesperson for Jackson Women’s Health Organization did not respond to a request for comment.

Hunter Schwarz covers state and local politics and policy across the country for the Washington Post.
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