A U.S. Circuit Court ruled Tuesday that the state of Mississippi may not require abortion doctors in that state to have admitting privileges at local hospitals. The court said the requirement “imposes an undue burden on a woman’s right to choose an abortion.”
Earlier this year the same court, though with a different set of judges, let stand a similar law in Texas.
The issue in Mississippi seems to be that there is only one abortion clinic left in the state and that no local hospital is willing to give admitting privileges to its abortionists. The result would be that the remaining abortion clinic would have to close.
Steven Ertelt, who runs a pro-life group in Colorado and edits LifeNews.com, told Breitbart News that the ruling fails on at least three counts: “It fails to uphold the rule of law, where the state of Mississippi sought to protect women and children. The court ignores the fact that the abortion facility is putting women’s health and lives at risk by not having admitting privileges. The Court seems to think that every state in the nation ought to have at least one abortion clinic.”
Lawmakers in nine states have passed legislation like this, saying it is needed because abortions are a surgical procedure that often require the woman to be taken to the emergency room. Abortion clinics and abortion groups have resisted these laws, insisting they are no more than tactics to close clinics.
Admitting privileges are important for doctors, particularly those that perform surgical procedures, because most insurance companies require such privileges in order to give coverage. According to careermedicine.com admitting privileges are fairly easy to obtain. There are two types: Courtesy privileges allow a physician to occasionally admit patients, which would satisfy the law, while full privileges require the physicians to attend hospital staff meetings.
After Texas passed similar legislation, 19 out of 41 Texas clinics closed their doors, and it is expected that some of the remaining 22 will close when all aspects of the law are implemented September 1.
The issue before at least some of the courts is whether Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton also require each state to have at least one abortion clinic to administer the right they affirm.