Mississippi judge grants temporary relief for abortion clinic

By Emily Le Coz/NEMS Daily Journal

A Mississippi judge on Sunday temporarily blocked enforcement of the state’s new law requiring abortion physicians to obtain hospital admitting privileges until a hearing scheduled for July 11.

U.S. District Judge Daniel P. Jordan in Jackson issued a temporary restraining order the day the new law took effect.

“Though the debate over abortion continues, there exists legal precedent the court must follow,” Jordan wrote.

The law requires anyone performing abortions at the state’s only clinic to be an OB-GYN with privileges to admit patients to a local hospital. Such privileges can be difficult to obtain, and the clinic contends the mandate is designed to put it out of business. A clinic spokeswoman, Betty Thompson, has said the two physicians who do abortions there are OB-GYNs who travel from other states.

The clinic, Jackson Women’s Health Organization, filed a lawsuit seeking to block it. The suit says the admitting privileges requirement is not medically necessary and is designed to put the clinic out of business.

If Jackson Women’s Health Organization closes, Mississippi would be the only state without an abortion clinic.

Republican Gov. Phil Bryant has said repeatedly he wants Mississippi to be abortion-free. Bryant spokesman Mick Bullock was preparing a response Sunday night to the judge’s decision to issue a temporary restraining order.

Click the PDF file on the left to view the judge’s order.

Check back later for updates.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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