[JURIST] Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood [official website] filed an appeal Wednesday asking the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit [official website] to reverse a July ruling [JURIST report] that a 2012 state law requiring abortion clinic doctors to obtain hospital admitting privileges is unconstitutional. A three-judge panel of the court found that the law would impermissibly limit a woman’s ability to have an abortion because it would effectively close the state’s only abortion clinic, Jackson Women’s Health Organization [official website]. It is unclear whether the entire appeals court will hear the appeal [AP report].
Abortion continues to be a hot-button legal issue throughout the US, with a number of states proposing laws to limit reproductive rights [JURIST backgrounder]. Earlier this month the US District Court for the Middle District of Alabama, Northern Division [official website] ruled [JURIST report] that Alabama’s recently enacted [JURIST op-ed] requirement [HB 57] that all doctors who provide abortions must have staff privileges to perform designated procedures at a local hospital is unconstitutional. In April West Virginia’s governor vetoed a bill [JURIST report] that would have banned abortions later than 20 weeks after conception. Also in April the Fifth Circuit upheld [JURIST report] a Texas law similar to the one enacted in Alabama that requires physicians performing abortions to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. In March the US Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit [official website] ruled [JURIST report] that the Kansas legislature can withhold federal funding for two Planned Parenthood clinics.