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Mississippi TRAP Law Upheld, Clinic Given Reprive To Comply

Mississippi TRAP Law Upheld, Clinic Given Reprive To Comply

Late Friday a federal judge in Mississippi upheld the state’s latest anti-abortion law, but ruled the state’s only clinic can stay open and will not face any penalties as it tries to comply with the new mandate.

It’s a partial win for both the Jackson Women’s Health Organization and the state. The law requires anyone who does abortions at the clinic to be an OB-GYN with privileges to admit patients to a local hospital. The clinic’s two out-of-state OB-GYNS don’t have those privileges and have had difficulty getting them from local hospitals. “The resolution of that issue will impact the ultimate issues in this case,” Jordan wrote.

The clinic said its OB-GYNs have applied for admitting privileges at most Jackson-area hospitals but haven’t received responses. When clinic employees called a Catholic hospital to ask about applying for privileges, clinic owner Diane Derzis said, “We were told not to bother.”

Republican Gov. Phil Bryant has said he hopes the law will help make Mississippi “abortion-free,” while others acknowledged it was designed to put even more pressure on the Supreme Court to revisit its rulings in Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. Bryant said he Friday was “gratified” that the judge will allow the law to start taking effect. “Mississippi will continue to defend this important measure as the legal process moves forward,” Bryant said in a news release.

The state health officer, Dr. Mary Currier, filed a sworn statement in federal court Thursday showing how long it would take to fully implement the law if it takes effect. If the clinic is inspected and found out of compliance, it would get about 10 months to try to follow the mandates and to exhaust its administrative appeals with the Health Department. If the clinic loses its state license, it would then get more time to appeal to a state court.
JWC says its physicians do almost all of the roughly 2,000 abortions that are performed in Mississippi each year. If Mississippi physicians perform 10 or fewer abortions a month, or 100 or fewer a year, they can avoid having their offices regulated as abortion facilities. That exception, opponents claim, was drawn with the clinic specifically in mind knowing it would likely shut down the JWC.

A spokeswoman for Pro-Life Mississippi, Tanya Britton, said Friday of the judge’s ruling that keeps the clinic open for now: “It’s not a victory for the women of the state of Mississippi. This law was always about their health. If a woman is going to have an abortion and if people who perform abortions say they really care about the health of women, then they should want the best standard of care.”

The New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights, which has been helping the clinic in the lawsuit, says there are no plans to appeal. “The federal judge has provided crucial temporary protection for the clinic and its physicians,” Nancy Northup, the center’s president and CEO, said in a news release. “We will remain vigilant in our fight to ensure the clinic isn’t subject to penalties that would force its doors to close and deprive Mississippi women of their constitutionally-protected rights.”

Thanks to this ruling the women in Mississippi still have temporary access to abortion services should they need them. But those services remain isolated to one clinic and with additional pressure to close down. That’s hardly a win when women’s lives are on the line.

Related Stories:

Mississippi Abortion Clinic Stays Open For Now

Mississippi Prepares To Lose All Abortion Access In July

Mississippi Tries To Close State’s Only Abortion Clinic

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Photo from walknboston via flickr.

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4:53AM PST on Feb 21, 2013

What I'd like to know, is how many big/mega churches have been built in Mississippi in the same amount of time. This smacks of religious right influence.

If a woman wants, or worse yet NEEDS, an abortion, how far WOULD she go ? Back alley specials ? The old coat hanger ? How many more horror stories have to be told before we grow up as a country ? Or, has Mississippi been a foreign country all this time ? On might wonder.

2:13PM PST on Jan 18, 2013

J.L.A. wrote:
"John, how does abstinence protect a woman from rape?

JLA, as John can attest to, women who get raped can stop a pregnancy within. After all,

"The odds that a woman who is raped will get pregnant are "one in millions and millions and millions," said state Rep. Stephen Freind, R-Delaware County, the Legislature's leading abortion foe."

The reason, Freind said, is that the traumatic experience of rape causes a woman to "secrete a certain secretion" that tends to kill sperm.
"From the Philadelphia Inquirer, 1988:

Ahhhh, the male of the species speaks! Maybe we can harvest this wonderful "secretion" and sell it as a contraception. We'll be filthy rich!!!

1:53PM PDT on Jul 17, 2012

Paula M.
The real question in my mind is why abortion providers feel that they should be exempt from standard health and safety requirements?”

No, the REAL question is what business is it of yours or anyone else’s what women do with their bodies. And denying women their government protected rights to choose. hands off my uterus.

2:48AM PDT on Jul 17, 2012


2:38PM PDT on Jul 16, 2012

Thank you for sharing.

10:19AM PDT on Jul 16, 2012

Women can beat this dumb law by simply having a tubular ligation.
End of pregnancies end of male domination.
Time to use your brain unless you are a follower of the religious rules which would make you seem pretty dumb. Religious rules are made up by men not women.

6:14PM PDT on Jul 15, 2012

Thanks for the post.

5:23PM PDT on Jul 15, 2012


8:57AM PDT on Jul 15, 2012

"Thought the USA was supposed to be a democracy. Amazing how in the 21st century there are still the same arguments. What is needed are options so women know what all the alternatives are and then make an informed decision. Having an abortion is not a quick fix as many may think it is a very tramatic event to go through and something that stays with a woman for the rest of her life." Rebecca F.

That is so true. After all, I remember one of my room mates way back when I was in Training for the Army Reserve. Before she enlisted had an abortion, it was such an experience that she never forgot to take her birth control ever since and she reminded anyone and everyone, before they left on a date, to do whatever it takes to be careful and not to risk a pregnancy, because the last thing that they would want to go through would be an abortion, like she went through.

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8:17AM PDT on Jul 15, 2012

Thought the USA was supposed to be a democracy. Amazing how in the 21st century there are still the same arguments. What is needed are options so women know what all the alternatives are and then make an informed decision. Having an abortion is not a quick fix as many may think it is a very tramatic event to go through and something that stays with a woman for the rest of her life.

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