Federal Judge permanently enjoins law requiring abortionists to have admitting privileges in Mississippi

U.S. District Judge Daniel Jordan

U.S. District Judge Daniel Jordan

JACKSON, Miss. — On Friday, U.S. District Judge Daniel Jordan III permanently blocked a Mississippi’s law, H.B. 1390, that would have closed the Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the state’s lone remaining abortion clinic. The law required abortionists to have admitting privileges at a local hospital in case there were complications.

Judge Jordan pointed to the state’s acknowledgement earlier in the month that Mississippi “cannot identify any meaningful distinction between the Texas admitting privileges law struck down in Hellerstedt and the admitting privileges requirement of H.B. 1390.”

Hellerstedt refers to Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, a 2016 Supreme Court decision which struck down the admitting privileges provision of a Texas law as well as the requirement that abortion clinics meet the standards of ambulatory surgical centers.

“Accordingly, Plaintiffs’ motion is granted,” Jordan wrote, according to reporter Heather Clark. “Defendants are permanently enjoined from any and all forms of enforcement of the admitting privileges requirement of H.B. 1390 against Plaintiffs.” (He had previously issued a partial preliminary injunction.)

“Today’s ruling is the latest victory for women’s health and rights–and it will not be the last,” said Center for Reproductive Rights President and CEO Nancy Northup. “Our landmark win at the Supreme Court last summer continues to reverberate across the nation.”

BACKGROUND

Passed in 2012, the law was originally set to go into effect July 1, 2012. But at the eleventh hour Judge Jordan temporarily blocked Mississippi from enforcing the law. In 2013. Jordan extended the temporary restraining order. That was upheld by a divided 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel last July. (The dissent written by Judge Emilio M. Garza was brilliant. Our analysis of it can be read here.)

“The state appealed the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court, which declined to take the case just one day after striking down Texas’ regulations that require abortionists to have admitting privileges and keep their facilities up to the same standards as ambulatory surgical centers,” Clark wrote.

The Jackson Women’s Health Organization is owned by the flamboyant Diane Derzis who has abortion clinics in Georgia, Mississippi, and Virginia.

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