Daily Dispatches

Judge continues to block Mississippi abortion law

Abortion

A federal judge on Wednesday decided to continue to block a state law that threatened to shut down Mississippi's only abortion facility.

U.S. District Judge Daniel P. Jordan III temporarily blocked the law July 1 and extended that order Wednesday, though he did not immediately say how long it would last.

The state law would require anyone performing abortions to be an OB-GYN with privileges to admit patients to a local hospital. The abortion providers at the Jackson center do not have those privileges.

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Opponents of the law point to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that says states cannot place undue burdens or substantial obstacles to women seeking abortion.

Supporters of the law say it's designed to protect patients. Republican Gov. Phil Bryant has said he hopes it will help make Mississippi "abortion-free."

The abortion facility, Jackson Women's Health Organization, says it has been unable to obtain admitting privileges for its two out-of-state OB-GYNs because local hospitals have not responded to their requests.

Admitting privileges can be difficult to get because hospitals might not grant them to out-of-state physicians, or hospitals with religious affiliations might not give them to abortion providers.

The law's intent in requiring the privileges helps protect patients by ensuring they have continuity of care if a woman needs to go to the hospital.

The state attorney general's office declined to comment after the hearing.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Whitney Williams
Whitney Williams

Whitney happily serves WORLD as web editorial assistant. When she's not working from her home office in Texas, she's probably fishing or hunting with her husband.

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