A federal district Court judge has issued a temporary injunction blocking a new law that would have forced the closure of Mississippi's only remaining abortion clinic. The law was passed in early April and was set to take effect on Sunday, but the clinic filed suit against the state claiming that the law unfairly targeted their business and was specifically designed to eliminate all abortions in Mississippi, even those that are legal.
The law requires that all doctors "associated with the abortion facility" be certified obstetricians with admitting privileges at a local hospital. Because no hospitals would give privileges to doctors who work at the Jackson Women’s Health Organization — which performed almost all of the abortions in the state last year — the clinic would have had no choice but to close, forcing nearly every Mississippi resident seeking an abortion to travel to a neighboring state.
In the ruling that was handed down, supporters of the law had their own words turned against them as many, including Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant, had explicitly stated their intentions to eliminate all abortions across the state. The Lt. Governor's website brags about passage of the law saying it "should close the only abortion clinic in Mississippi." (Last November, Mississippi voters rejected a "personhood" amendment that would have gone farther than any other abortion law in the country by declaring that human life begins at fertilization.) Judge Daniel P. Jordan wrote that the plaintiffs "likewise submitted evidence that no safety or health concerns motivated its passage. This evidence has not yet been rebutted." Another hearing is scheduled for July 11 to determine if the injunction will be continued.