Abortion clinic gets a temporary reprieve

JACKSON, MS (WLOX) - A federal judge has temporarily blocked enforcement of a Mississippi law that could shut down the only abortion clinic in the state.

U.S. District Judge Daniel P. Jordan in Jackson issued a temporary restraining order Sunday, hours after the new law took effect. He set a July 11 hearing to determine whether to block the law for a longer time.

Julie Rikelman spoke Sunday on behalf of the Jackson abortion clinic.  "We think this lawsuit is crucial to making sure that the clinic stays open and so that the women in Mississippi have the same constitutional rights available to them as do women in other parts of the country," she said.

Dana Chisolm is with Pro-Life Mississippi.  "The law was not set up to limit abortions. Doctors can still do abortions in their offices, the ones that are qualified. This means that a facility that does must meet these qualifications," said Chisolm.

Governor Phil Bryant's spokesman Mick Bullock issued this statement.

"Governor Bryant believes House Bill 1390 is an important step in strengthening abortion regulations and protecting the health and safety of women.  The federal judge's decision is disappointing, and Governor Bryant plans to work with state leaders to ensure this legislation properly takes effect as soon as possible."

The law requires everyone who performs abortion at the clinic to be an OB-GYN with privileges to admit patients to a local hospital. The clinic, Jackson Women's Health Organization, filed a lawsuit seeking to block it. The suit says the admitting privilege requirement is not medically necessary and is designed to put the clinic out of business.

Gov. Bryant has said he wants Mississippi to be abortion-free.

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