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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St. Paul, MN

Maya Dusenbery is executive director in charge of editorial at Feministing. She is the author of the forthcoming book Doing Harm: The Truth About How Bad Medicine and Lazy Science Leave Women Dismissed, Misdiagnosed, and Sick (HarperOne, March 2018). She has been a fellow at Mother Jones magazine and a columnist at Pacific Standard magazine. Her work has appeared in publications like Cosmopolitan.com, TheAtlantic.com, Bitch Magazine, as well as the anthology The Feminist Utopia Project. Before become a full-time journalist, she worked at the National Institute for Reproductive Health. A Minnesota native, she received her B.A. from Carleton College in 2008. After living in Brooklyn, Oakland, and Atlanta, she is currently based in the Twin Cities.

Maya Dusenbery is an executive director of Feministing and author of the forthcoming book Doing Harm on sexism in medicine.

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