Judge blocks closing of Mississippi’s last abortion clinic

Jackson Women's Health OrganizationHere’s some good repro rights news to start your day.

As we’ve covered before, a new Mississippi law has been threatening to shut down the last remaining abortion clinic in the state. The law, which calls for the clinic’s out-of-state doctors to have admitting privileges at a local hospital, was a fairly blatant attempt to make Mississippi “abortion-free.”

A judge previously temporarily blocked the law from going into effect twice while the Jackson Women’s Health Clinic tried–unsuccessfully to nobody’s great surprise–to secure the privileges. Now the court has blocked the law while it is challenged in court.

As RH Reality Check notes, the judge’s ruling sends a promising message. The lawyers defending the law tried to argue that even if Mississippi no longer has a single abortion provider, that’s cool, because forcing someone to travel to another state doesn’t place an “undue burden” on the right to choose. The court seemed to disagree, saying that it ”would result in a patchwork system where constitutional rights are available in some states but not others.”

Granted, I’d argue we already basically have such a patchwork system–stratified not only by geography but also by class–but sometimes you’ve just gotta celebrate the wins you get.

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Atlanta, GA

Maya Dusenbery is an Executive Director in charge of Editorial at Feministing. Maya has previously worked at NARAL Pro-Choice New York and the National Institute for Reproductive Health and was a fellow at Mother Jones magazine. She graduated with a B.A. from Carleton College in 2008. A Minnesota native, she currently lives, writes, edits, and bakes bread in Atlanta, Georgia.

Maya Dusenbery is an Executive Director of Feministing in charge of Editorial.

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  • http://feministing.com/members/texassucks/ Misha

    I was wondering if I’d find a site that was reporting about these blatant rights violations. Texas is about to pass the same law any time now. It’s about to go to vote. They want the clinics to have a surgical center and only a few in the entire state do. They also want the doctors to have admitting privileges at local hospitals as well, just like Mississippi. I happen to live in Texas and I am angry that these states are getting away with this. They are stealthily trying to close all abortion clinics if they can using the most asinine and backdoor methods without banning abortion outright. I feel bad for the ladies in Mississippi. Some of them won’t be able to afford to travel out of state for services, especially here in the South where more and more clinics are closing. Texas will be closing probably 37 of 42 clinics because of these new ridiculous laws that are being passed trying to get rid of abortion providers. They are taking away a woman’s right to choose by bypassing the law with ridiculous and, in my opinion, extremely underhanded tactics.