U.S. ap­peals court blocks Mis­sis­sippi abor­tion law

Modern Healthcare - - REGIONAL NEWS -

Mis­sis­sippi’s gov­er­nor and at­tor­ney gen­eral will have to de­cide whether to chal­lenge a fed­eral ap­peals court rul- ing that is keep­ing the state’s only abor­tion clinic in busi­ness.

A panel of the 5th U.S. Cir­cuit Court of Ap­peals voted 2-1 last Tues­day to block a 2012 Mis­sis­sippi law that re­quires abor­tion doc­tors to ob­tain ad­mit­ting priv­i­leges at nearby hos­pi­tals.

When Repub­li­can Gov. Phil Bryant signed the law, he said he hoped it would end abor­tion in the state. In de­fend­ing the law, state at­tor­neys said women with un­wanted preg­nan­cies could al­ways travel to other states. But the ap­pel­late judges ruled that ev­ery state must guar­an­tee con­sti­tu­tional rights, in­clud­ing abor­tion.

“This mea­sure is de­signed to pro­tect the health and safety of women who un­dergo this po­ten­tially danger­ous pro­ce­dure, and physi­cians who pro­vide abor­tions should be held to the same stan­dards as physi­cians who per­form other out­pa­tient pro­ce­dures,” Bryant said.

Ten states have adopted sim­i­lar laws, forc­ing a grow­ing num­ber of clin­ics to close. The rul­ing from the con­ser­va­tive 5th Cir­cuit was nar­rowly crafted to ad­dress the sit­u­a­tion in Mis­sis­sippi, but it could have im­pli­ca­tions for other states with sim­i­lar laws and dwin­dling ac­cess to abor­tion, such as Wis­con­sin and Alabama.

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