Only abortion clinic in Mississippi challenges new law - - Jackson, MS

Only abortion clinic in Mississippi challenges new law

Governor Phil Bryant signs HB 1390 into law Governor Phil Bryant signs HB 1390 into law

A national organization is standing with the state's only abortion clinic to prevent its closure.

A federal lawsuit was filed Wednesday in reaction to a new state law that will soon take effect.

The Center for Reproductive Rights based in New York filed suit in U. S. District Court on behalf of the Jackson Women's Health Organization and physician Willie Parker and his patients to keep the clinic's doors open.

The suit challenges the constitutionality of House Bill 1390 that set new requirements for physicians performing abortions at Mississippi's only abortion clinic.

According to attorneys for the center, the Jackson facility is safe and is in compliance with current regulations.

"This law is clearly unconstitutional...We've made a request that the judge restrain the state from enforcing the law as of Monday so that the clinic can stay open," said Center for Reproductive Rights Litigation Director Julie Rikelman.

Officials with Mississippi's chapter of the National Organization of Women said the bill has nothing to do with protecting women's health.

"We're hopeful that it'll give the clinic immediate relief...It had everything to do with closing this clinic and stopping abortion, legal abortion because we know that it won't stop back alley abortions. It won't stop women from doing their own abortions," said NOW Mississippi President Lauri Roberts.

Pro-Life Mississippi officials expect the legislation to withstand the challenge.

"Anytime you touch someone's pocket you expect a reaction...I don't believe it's unreasonable for the State of Mississippi to set up their own requirements for practicing in the state of Mississippi. These doctors are not from Mississippi. They come from out of state, but I believe that they should meet our requirements," said Pro-Life Mississippi Executive Director Dana Chisholm.

A statement released by Governor Phil Bryant said, "Mississippi stands ready to vigorously defend House Bill 1390, which requires abortion providers to be certified OB/GYN physicians and have admitting privileges at a local hospital. This basic requirement goes to both the heart of women's health care and protecting the lives of unborn children."

The plaintiffs in the suit hope a judge will issue a ruling in the next few days.

Copyright 2012 WLBT. All rights reserved.


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