Lone Clinic for Abortion in Mississippi Files Suit against Restrictive Measure Clinic Officials Say the New Law Would Close Facility, Essentially Ban Abortion in State

Article excerpt

JACKSON, Miss. - Mississippi's only abortion clinic sued Wednesday to stop a law that it says will effectively ban abortion in the state and endanger women's health by limiting access to the procedure.

Jackson Women's Health Organization said in the federal lawsuit that the measure would close the clinic, is unconstitutional and will ban abortion in Mississippi "by imposing medically unjustified requirements on physicians who perform abortions." Republican Gov. Phil Bryant has said his goal is to eliminate abortions in the state.

When he signed the new restrictions into law, Bryant responded to what effect the law could have on the state's only abortion clinic by saying, "If it closes that clinic, then so be it."

The law takes effect Sunday, but the clinic is asking a federal judge in Jackson to issue a temporary restraining order to stop the state from enforcing it.

The clinic said the unjustified requirement in the law is that it requires anyone who performs an abortion at a clinic to be an OB- GYN with privileges to admit patients to a local hospital. Lawmakers said that is for patients' safety. The lawsuit says it's impossible for the clinic's physicians to get local hospital admitting privileges by Sunday.

The privileges can be difficult to obtain, either because doctors live out of state or because religious-affiliated hospitals don't grant them to doctors who do abortions.

The clinic says in the lawsuit that complications after abortion are rare, and if a patient needs to be hospitalized, the clinic would transfer her by ambulance. …


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