Jackson Women’s Health Organization is the states only abortion clinic and it may be forced to shut down if the law is allowed to go into effect. If anyone had previously performed abortions at the clinic, the new law would now require them to be an OB-GYN and have the ability to have patients admitted to local hospitals.
The clinic has stated that admission is not necessary, medically, and it’s out-of-state OB-GYN’s have not been granted the ability to admit patients to a hospital. The OB-GYN’s have not been able to get permission.
In court papers, the clinic argues that the new law would give too much power to the hospital and takes so much away from the clinic that it would do “irreparable harm” to the clinic.
State attorneys state that giving the power to veto abortions to the hospital makes the process safer for patients.
On June 27, the clinic filed a lawsuit to stop the law from going into effect on July 1, citing infringement on women’s rights to access a constitutionally protected medical procedure. U.S. District Judge Daniel P. Jordan III responded by placing a restraining order on the law. The restraining order is only temporary but it stops the law from going into effect.
The temporary hold has been in effect until today’s hearing, and both sides have filed extensions. The judge can either rule today or grant the extensions or even allow the law to go into effect.
If the clinic closes, women seeking abortions could have little to no options in Mississippi. The closest clinics to Jackson are approximately 200 miles away. They clinics are in Louisiana, Tennessee and Alabama.
The judge’s decision has many implications. One has to wonder if there may not be more law suits to follow if the law is allowed to go into effect. Also, if one state is successful in passing the law, it may trigger other states to pass similar laws.