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Federal Judge Continues Block of Mississippi Abortion Law

By Daniel Cherry | Published 11 Jul 2012 07:54pm | comments
Protesters outside the Jackson Women's Health Organization
A federal judge will continue to block a Mississippi law that could shut down the state's only abortion clinic. MPB's Daniel Cherry has more.
U.S. Judge Daniel Jordan extended a temporary restraining order blocking the state law that could cause the Jackson Women's Health Organization to shut it's doors. Clinic owner, Diane Derzis says business will go on as usual while the judge reviews new rules voted on Wednesday morning by the State Department of Health.
"I think it's a wait and see to find out where the judge is going to go with this argument, but at least he's certainly considering all the options and it seems like he has a good understanding of what's going on here."
The law in question says anyone performing an abortion in Mississippi must be a certified OB-GYN and have admitting privileges to local hospital. Supporters like Tanya Britton with Pro-Life Mississippi say they're disappointed with the delay in ruling because they believe the law protects the health of women seeking abortions.
"It is absolutely ridiculous to say that a doctor can operate on a patient, that that doctor should not be the one to care for them if they have to go to the hospital"
The clinic argued before the court, the law placed an undue burden on access to abortions and even though the law says it's to protect health, top supporters have publicly expressed desire to end abortions. Also, clinic attorney, Michelle Movahed, says the law would cause the clinic "irreparable harm" because hospitals haven't said if or when they'll grant admitting privileges.
"When the clinic is going to be in the position, if the law goes into effect, of choosing between risking serious penalties and continuing to perform a legal medical procedure. What we explained to the court is that it's that risk that creates an impossible situation for the clinic."
The clinic says they've applied to every available hospital in the Jackson metro area, and have yet to get a response from any. Judge Jordan said he'll make a determination when he's had enough time to review the new rules passed by the state Department of Health. He was unclear on how long that will take.


Protesters outside the Jackson Women's Health Organization



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