A federal judge blocked the closure of the only abortion clinic in the state of Mississippi on Monday. U.S. District Judge Daniel P. Jordan III extended an injunction that he had issued several months ago that blocks the state from closing the clinic while a 2012 state law causing the closure is being challenged. The state law requires all OB-GYNs who perform abortions at Jackson Women’s Health Organization to have privileges to admit patients to a local hospital.
Fox News reported, “Jordan’s ruling comes three days before the state Department of Health was scheduled to hold a license revocation hearing for the clinic over its acknowledged inability to get the admitting privileges.” The ruling has temporarily prevented Mississippi from becoming the first state in the country to be without an abortion clinic.
In his ruling, Jordan writes that the clinic has sought the injunction because it has "exhausted all available avenues to comply" with the law. Since Mississippi has indicated it will revoke the clinic's license after a scheduled administrative hearing on Thursday, Jordan writes, "The Court concludes the Plaintiffs are entitled to preliminary injunctive relief."
"The State has plainly informed the Clinic that it will be closed pursuant to a statute that appears to fail the undue-burden test," Jordan says in his ruling. "Considering this, and the other articulated and unrebutted harms, the Court concludes that the irreparable injuries alleged are sufficiently imminent to justify preliminary injunctive relief at this time."
Abortion advocates are celebrating the ruling. "Today's court decision should serve as a reminder to extremist politicians that the Constitution and the rights and protections therein are available to all, including women and their right to private decision-making," said Jennifer Riley-Collins, executive director of ACLU-MS. "Unfortunately, we are seeing politicians across the country attempting to push through similarly drastic measures. ACLU-MS will remain vigilant in its support of reproductive justice in Mississippi."
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