Mississippi continues legal battle to shut down the state’s only abortion clinic
By Emily Le Coz
(Reuters) – Mississippi on Wednesday asked a federal appeals court to review a decision deeming unconstitutional its 2012 law that would shut down the state’s sole abortion clinic and force women seeking the procedure to go out of state.
Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood is seeking a hearing before the full 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on the law, which required abortion clinics to obtain hospital admitting privileges for their doctors.
A three-judge panel from the circuit issued a 2-1 ruling against the law last month, finding that Mississippi could not rely on other states to uphold its constitutional duty to provide women access to abortion.
That ruling upheld a lower court’s preliminary injunction against the law.
Doctors with Jackson Women’s Health Organization, Mississippi’s only abortion clinic, tried but failed to obtain admitting privileges. Many hospitals refused to consider their applications.
Mississippi is among several states with laws requiring abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles (48 km) of their clinic.
Abortion rights campaigners say the laws, some of which are under court review, impose medically unnecessary requirements targeting providers of the procedure.Anti-abortion advocates have countered that they are intended to protect women’s health, though some have also said they would likely shutter clinics.
(Reporting by Emily Le Coz; Editing by Jonathan Kaminsky, Mohammad Zargham and Sandra Maler)