The state of Mississippi has only one abortion clinic. Just one. Lawmakers who want even that one closed may have found a way to do it.
First, they passed a series of laws that were so difficult to comply with that the state’s abortion clinics closed until the Jackson Women’s Health Organization was the only one left.
Last Spring they passed a law (H.B. 1390) requiring all doctors working at an abortion facility to have admitting privileges at a local hospital. That seems innocuous enough, but the doctors have been denied privileges at every one of the 12 hospitals in the area. In the denial letter, Crossgates River Oaks Hospital basically said that since the doctors performed elective abortions, they would never get hospital privileges.
So women whose religious and ethical beliefs are different from those of the hospital administrators will soon be denied the service protected by Roe v. Wade (1973). An injunction has been filed to delay enforcement, which was signed into law in April, but if the federal court does not grant a preliminary injunction while the clinic fights the constitutionality of the law, it could close down as early as February.
In doing further research, I’ve discovered that in Casey v Planned Parenthood (1992), the Supreme Court proclaimed that any regulation that imposes a “substantial obstacle” preventing a woman from obtaining a legal abortion is an “undue burden” that violates the woman’s constitutional right to an abortion. I say that H.B. 1390 fits the definition of “substantial obstacle.”