Mississippi bill may force state's only abortion clinic to close

STARKVILLE, Mississippi Thu Apr 5, 2012 12:49am EDT

Related Topics

STARKVILLE, Mississippi (Reuters) - The Mississippi state Senate passed a bill on Wednesday to impose new regulations on facilities providing abortions that supporters of the state's only abortion clinic said could force it to close.

The measure, which previously passed in the state House of Representatives, would requires physicians performing abortions to have admitting privileges at a local hospital and be board certified or eligible in obstetrics and gynecology.

Mississippi's only abortion provider, Jackson Women's Health Organization, said before the vote that it could face closure if the bill becomes law. The clinic's owner, Diane Derzis, has said she would challenge the law in court if it is signed by Republican Governor Phil Bryant.

"This legislation is an important step in strengthening abortion regulations and protecting the health and safety of women," Bryant said in a statement. "As governor, I will continue to work to make Mississippi abortion-free."

Currently, only one of the three physicians who provide abortions at the Mississippi clinic has admitting privileges at a local hospital, Derzis said previously. Admitting privileges are an arrangement with a hospital allowing the doctor to refer patients to the facility in case further treatment is needed.

Many Mississippi hospitals have refused to grant admitting privileges to physicians who provide abortions.

All of the doctors who provide abortions at the Jackson clinic are board certified in obstetrics and gynecology, Derzis said previously.

Mississippi became the focus of national attention in 2011 because of a statewide referendum on a "personhood" constitutional amendment that would have defined a fertilized egg as a person. The referendum failed even though most elected officials in the state supported it.

(Editing by Greg McCune and Lisa Shumaker)

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (10)
arttie wrote:
Obviously, the governor is a total god-loving weirdo. I wonder what statistics he has available to strengthen his case. Are women dying in Mississippi from abortions? Tell ya one thing, if these women aren’t allowed to have abortions in Mississippi they will end up on the welfare rolls with children they don’t want, or can’t afford. I guess the governor can be thankful that a whole generation of unwanted kids will have him to look up to, huh? He’ll also have the ruined lives of all those women looking at him too. But, hey, who cares as long as it’s what god wants, right? Right wing christian fanatics should be outlawed from participating in politics. They fail to see clearly, like most christians.

Apr 05, 2012 1:11am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Josorr wrote:
Arttie, nowhere in this article is the Governor said to be a Christian. Are women dieing from abortions? Statistically speaking, roughly half of the abortions result in the death of a unique female human. That could be clinically proven with DNA analysis. And by the way, right wing Christian fanatics hold the same beliefs as those who founded this country. It was they who signed their names to a document that says, among other things, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” And also: “for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.” It was Christian men who risked all to secured for us these God-given rights we enjoy in this country and you would now outlaw them from participating in politics? You sir, are a hateful hypocrite.

Apr 05, 2012 8:12am EDT  --  Report as abuse
CITADEL4U wrote:

Future home of the most illegal abortions in America. Plus, the most deaths of young women from illegal abortions.

Exactly, where they were when Abortions became legal.
Mississippi, where ignorance meets stupidity at the Baptist Church.

Apr 05, 2012 10:15am EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.