Mississippi’s sole abortion center will stay open for now after a federal judge temporarily blocked the state from revoking its license on Monday.
U.S. District Judge Daniel P. Jordan III granted Jackson Women’s Health Organization an extension on the injunction he issued several months ago. The reprieve gives the abortion center more time to fulfill a 2012 state law requiring all OB-GYNs who perform abortions to have privileges to admit patients to a local hospital.
The ruling comes three days before the state Department of Health was scheduled to hold a license revocation hearing for the center over its admitted failure to get the privileges. The hearing has been cancelled, according to health department spokeswoman Liz Sharlot.
Under Jordan’s ruling, the state cannot close Jackson Women’s Health Organization while the facility still has a federal lawsuit pending to fight the 2012 law. A trial date has not been set.
The Department of Health notified the abortion facility in January that it intended to revoke its license. It had until this week’s hearing to comply with state law. In the meantime, it was business as usual at the center, where babies are killed every day.
Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, applauded the judge's decision, but said the fight for a woman’s right to kill her unborn child is far from over: "We will continue our work to see this underhanded attempt to ban abortions in Mississippi struck down as a violation of women's constitutional reproductive rights."