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Federal judge temporarily blocks closure of lone Mississippi abortion clinic

A judge for the US District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi [official website] on Monday extended an injunction [opinion, PDF] blocking Mississippi from revoking the license of the state's only abortion clinic. In seeking to close down the clinic, Mississippi is attempting to enforce House Bill 1390 [text, PDF], a 2012 state law requiring all OB-GYNs to have privileges to admit patients to a local hospital. A license revocation hearing with the state Department of Health was scheduled to take place 3 days after the ruling to hear arguments on the clinic's inability to attain the necessary admitting privileges. As a result of the ruling, the hearing will no longer be held. The ruling by Judge Daniel P. Jordan III [official website] also notes that the clinic sought the injunction because it had "exhausted all available avenues to comply" with the law prior to the hearing. The injunction also prohibits Mississippi from closing the clinic while a federal lawsuit challenging House Bill 1390 is still pending.

The controversy surrounding House Bill 1390 and Mississippi's only abortion clinic has persisted for several years. In 2005, the Mississippi federal district court ruled that Mississippi's law restricting abortions [JURIST report] performed after the first-trimester violates the Fourteenth Amendment. Last June, the same abortion clinic in Mississippi filed a lawsuit in the US District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi challenging the regulation [JURIST report] that was scheduled to go into effect. Last July, a judge for the US District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi issued a temporary injunction [JURIST report] blocking the law.

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