The last abortion clinic in the state of Mississippi will remain open, for now, after a federal appeals court said a 2012 state law imposed an “undue burden” on a woman’s right to have an abortion.
The Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans ruled a 2012 state law in Mississippi requiring all abortion doctors in the state to obtain admitting privileges at a local hospital unconstitutional.
This is the second time this year a federal appeals court in New Orleans has heard arguments about the constitutionality of state laws governing abortion. In late March, the same court, different group of three judges, considered a similar 2013 Texas law.
That time, the court said the law was constitutional, reversing the decision of a lower court’s ruling.
In Texas, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans said, “on its face (the law) does not impose an undue burden on the life and health of a woman.” The law in Texas did not pose an undue burden because women could drive elsewhere in Texas for the procedure.
This time, the three-judge panel ruled 2-1 against the Mississippi state law.
In Mississippi, the Jackson Women’s Health Organization is the last open abortion clinic in the state. It sees more than 2,000 women a year. In addition to abortion care, the clinic provides contraceptive services.
The ruling applies only to Mississippi and allows the clinic to remain open pending any further litigation.
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