Legislation in Mississippi could close down state’s only abortion clinic

The State of Mississippi has one abortion clinic, which currently is in jeopardy due to legislation.

Photo credit: Stu Seeger on Flickr

This legislation adds the following provision:

All physicians associated with the abortion facility must have admitting privileges at a local hospital and staff privileges to replace local hospital on-staff physicians.  All physicians associated with an abortion facility must be board certified or eligible in obstetrics and gynecology, and a staff member trained in CPR shall always be present at the abortion facility when it is open.

This bill passed the house on March 13 and the Senate on April 4. While the bill certainly does not outlaw abortion on its face, it could effectively shut down Mississippi’s only abortion clinic. Governor Phil Bryant intends to sign the bill.

Senator Dean Kirby, chair of the Public Health and Welfare Committee, said, “This doesn’t make any reference as to whether abortions are legal or illegal in Mississippi. None at all. It just says you will be a board certified OB-GYN and have an admitting hospital.”

These measures will protect the medical well-being of women, something that Governor Bryant supports. “It is critically important, I think, to make sure we’ve got a certified physician there for that very complicated procedure, and if a complication does occur, that they have admission privileges or rights to a local hospital. … [I] Look forward to signing it.”

How can this legislation effectively shut down the abortion clinic? According to Fox News:

Diane Derzis, the owner of the clinic, the Jackson Women’s Health Organization, said its physicians are OB-GYN certified but only one has admitting privileges. She said clinic doctors live out of state because they have been stalked and threatened. And most hospitals will not grant such privileges to out-of-state physicians.

This is not the only pro-life legislation in Mississippi.  In fact, several pro-life bills have been recently introduced. Lt. Gov. Reeves voiced his support: “These are strong, common-sense pro-life bills that will not only end abortion in Mississippi but will enhance efforts to protect children from abuse[.] … I appreciate the hard work by these senators to shape laws that make Mississippi an even safer place for children.”

The Guttmacher Institute in Washington reports that 2,770 abortions were performed in Mississippi in 2008. When this bill is signed into law, children’s lives will be saved. Thank you, Mississippi, for standing up for the unborn!

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