The only abortion clinic in Mississippi is going to court to try to block a new law that it says would effectively ban all abortions in the state.
The Jackson Women’s Health Organization on Wednesday asked a federal judge to issue an injunction barring House Bill 1390 from taking effect on Sunday.
The lawsuit contends the requirements of the bill, signed into law by Gov. Phil Bryant in April, are unconstitutional and would force the clinic to close.
“This measure would force Mississippi women who are already facing difficult circumstances to travel hundreds of miles to a neighboring state to get an abortion. That is simply not an option for many poor and working-class women, and will certainly lead some to consider unsafe and illegal alternatives that pose grave risks to their health, lives, and reproductive future,” Nancy Northup, president and CEO at the New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights, which filed the lawsuit on the clinic’s behalf, said in a statement.
The law requires that any doctor who performs abortions at a clinic be a board-certified OB-GYN and have admitting privileges to a local hospital, an arrangement whereby doctors can refer patients to a hospital if further treatment is warranted.
The clinic says its doctors are having a hard time getting admitting privileges and won’t be able to do so by Sunday, either because they live out of state or because local hospitals are reluctant to grant such privileges to physicians who perform abortions.
Even so, that doesn’t mean the clinic will close anytime soon. The state Department of Health will inspect the clinic on Monday and it would have roughly 45 days after that to come into compliance with the new requirements, saidLiz Sharlot, a health department spokeswoman. It’s only after that period that the state could move to revoke its license, and the clinic could appeal any revocation.
MSNBC has the full article