Mississippi Aims to Close Only Abortion Clinic

In Mississippi, the state's one abortion clinic is under fire and may lose its fight to stay open.

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Man prays outside Mississippi's sole abortion clinic (Bloomberg/Getty Images)

As the "war on women" continues, Mississippi has passed a law aiming to effectively shut the only abortion clinic in the Magnolia State. According to the New York Times, the law goes into effect on July 1.

The law, which was passed this spring by large margins in the State Legislature, requires all physicians associated with an abortion clinic to have admitting privileges at local hospitals.

It is no secret that the physicians who do the majority of the work at the J.W.H.O. do not currently meet this requirement; three out of four of them, including Dr. Parker, do not even live in Mississippi.

"If it closes that clinic," Gov. Phil Bryant was quoted as saying during the bill-signing ceremony, "then so be it." Mississippi would then be the only state with no abortion clinic.

Diane Derzis, who owns the clinic, has threatened to sue. But for now the doctors at the clinic have been applying to local hospitals for admission, a process that will almost certainly not be over by July 1. What will happen that week remains unclear. A spokeswoman for the State Department of Health said that even if state officials inspect the clinic early on the Monday morning of July 2, as they plan to do, the clinic would have 10 days to come up with a plan of compliance and "a reasonable amount of time" to put that plan into effect.

Mississippi is also the poorest state in the country and has the highest birth rate among teenagers, and the second-highest infant mortality rate, according to statistics compiled by the Kaiser Family Foundation. More than half of births here occur out of wedlock. Of the 2,297 women who had abortions in Mississippi in 2010, according to the State Department of Health, most were unmarried, most already had at least one child and more than three-quarters were black.

Read more at the New York Times.

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