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Anti-Abortion, Abortion-Rights Activists Clash Over Mississippi’s Only Abortion Clinic

By Paul Boger | Published 05 Nov 2013 08:30am | comments
Mississippi's only abortion clinic is fighting a law that could force it to close it's doors for good. MPB's Paul Boger reports. 
 
Anti-abortion activists and abortion-rights advocates clashed on the steps of the Capitol yesterday, over the existence of Mississippi's only abortion clinic, the Jackson Women's Health Organization. The clinic is currently suing the state over legislation that would require doctors at the clinic to have admitting privileges at local hospitals.
 
Diane Derzis owns the clinic. She says if the doctors are forced to have admitting privileges then the clinic will not be able to stay open.
 
"Devastating." said Dezvis. "Absolutely devastating. Here in Mississippi, every hospital that we made application too responded that they could not handle what would be involved in that manner. That's a frightening thing, everyone in America should be aware of this, because today it's me. Tomorrow it could be you."
 
In August, a federal judge allowed the law to take effect, but blocked the state from imposing penalties while the clinic seeks admitting privileges. The clinic has appealed the decision to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. 
 
Doug Lane is with of Pastors for Life. He says the law will make abortions and the clinics safer for women in Mississippi. 
 
"The law has already been approved, requiring doctors to have admitting privileges." said Lane. "Those laws are just requiring these doctors to be held to the same standard as any other doctor who performs a surgery that is similar to, or is an evasive surgery, or as dangerous as abortion. We feel that it's holding these doctors to the same medical standards as other doctors."
 
Sunsara Taylor is an abortion-rights advocate with stop-patriarchy dot org, one of the groups at yesterday's protest.
 
"It is an utterly medically unnecessary law." said Taylor. "Abortion is ten times safer than child birth. It's a routine medical procedure. One-in-three women will get an abortion. Hospitals already have to admit patients if there is a medical emergency. It does absolutely nothing for the safety women who get abortions, or women in general. What it does do is it has the very real world effect of closing down abortion clinics.
 
Last week, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans upheld a Texas law -- similar to Mississippi's -- that requires doctors to have admitting privileges.
 

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