Mississippi’s Only Abortion Clinic Gets a Reprieve

The last abortion clinic in Mississippi, Jackson Women’s Health Organization, has won a temporary injunction against the enforcement of a 2012 state law that would have required it to shut down.

Yesterday, U.S. District Judge Daniel P. Jordan III blocked the state from closing the clinic as it attempts to comply with a TRAP law requiring all doctors to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals.

The injunction has been extended until the constitutionality of the law can be proven in an ongoing lawsuit against Mississippi. Judge Jordan ruled the clinic cannot be closed while it still has a federal lawsuit pending to challenge the 2012 law. No hospital within 30 miles has granted admitting privileges to the doctors of JWHO, with some hospitals even refusing to give the doctors applications.

In his opinion, Judge Jordan wrote:

Closing its doors would […] force Mississippi women to leave Mississippi to obtain a legal abortion… [This] would result in a patchwork system where constitutional rights are available in some state but not others.

The clinic has been the state’s only abortion provider since 2002.

Photo from Flickr user Progress Ohio under Creative Commons 3.0


Associate editor of Ms. magazine