Mississippi’s Last Abortion Clinic Can Stay Open, For Now

Photo by Kate Sheppard.

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A judge in Mississippi has ruled that Jackson Women’s Health Organization can stay open, for now.

A state law passed in April 2012 threatened to shut down the state’s last abortion clinic, which we recently profiled. But on Monday, US District Judge Daniel P. Jordan III granted a preliminary injunction blocking that law from taking effect, which means that the state cannot revoke the clinic’s license to operate.

The new state law requires doctors who perform abortions at the clinic to have admitting privileges at a local hospital. Given the politics on abortion in Mississippi, all of the local hospitals rejected the applications of the two doctors who work at the clinic, so the state Department of Health had begun the process of revoking the clinic’s license for non-compliance. The Center for Reproductive Rights, which is representing the clinic, asked the judge to prevent the law from taking effect, as it was impossible for JWHO to comply.

In a statement Monday evening, Nancy Northup, the president of the Center for Reproductive Rights, noted that this is just the first step in the legal battle over this law. “While the women of Mississippi may be able to breathe a collective sigh of relief today, this fight is far from over,” she said. “We will continue our work to see this underhanded attempt to ban abortions in Mississippi struck down as a violation of women’s constitutional reproductive rights.”

Read the judge’s decision here.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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