Mississippi's Single Remaining Abortion Mill Fights to Stay Open

Mississippi's last remaining abortion clinic is fighting the state over stricter rules regulating how clinics operate.

Jackson Women's Health Organization of Jackson, Mississippi, is working to prevent abortion opponents from closing them down by suing the state in hopes of softening various regulations the state has enacted to require cleanliness, safety, and patients' rights.

The state was once home to 14 abortion clinics, but the JWHO is the last one left, and abortion opponents would like to see that one close, as well.

Recently, the state enacted a new law that would outlaw abortion after the first 20 weeks of pregnancy. The JWHO maintains that this ban would take away much of its business.

But Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant is defending the law. "We regulate restaurants [and] we regulate hotels for health and safety purposes," Bryant told the media. "So certainly we ought to have the authority, and I believe we certainly do have the authority, to regulate a procedure such as an abortion."

One of the issues that the abortion clinic is fighting is the state's new requirement that abortion doctors must be awarded admitting privileges at any local hospital. The abortionists claim that this is unnecessary because their patients don't need hospitalization.

Further complicating matters is the fact that the only two doctors who perform abortions are from out of state and fly in to Mississippi to perform their duties.

Dr. Willie Parker, who flies in from Chicago to perform abortions in Jackson, also said that he's been rebuffed for admitting privileges by 13 different Mississippi hospitals.

"Some we received no response from, but the ones that we did, they made reference to the fact that because the care we provide is related to abortion, they felt it might be disruptive to the internal politics, as well as the external politics, for the hospital," Dr. Parker reports.

Abortionists in the Magnolia State claim that these stringent rules amount to a de facto abortion ban in the state.

The abortionists may find their case falling on skeptical ears, though. The case is to appear before the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, the same court that reinstated a raft of strict Texas abortion laws late last year after a lower court put a halt to them.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at igcolonel@hotmail.com.


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