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Only Miss. Abortion Clinic Receives Notice of Violations, Awaits Hearing on Closure

Only Miss. Abortion Clinic Receives Notice of Violations, Awaits Hearing on Closure

January 28, 2013 — The Mississippi Health Department on Friday notified the state's only abortion clinic that it intends to revoke its operating license because it has not complied with a 2012 state law, the AP/Huffington Post reports.

The notice, which the clinic expected, does not mean it faces immediate closure. Under a state administrative procedures law, the clinic can remain open while it awaits a hearing, which could be at least a month away.

The state health department inspected the clinic on Jan. 16 to see if it had complied with a state law that requires physicians who provide abortions to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital, among other regulations. Clinic owner Diane Derzis has said the clinic missed a Jan. 11 deadline to comply with the law because area hospitals have refused to grant the admitting privileges.

In a letter delivered to the clinic on Friday, the department stated that none of the three physicians who provide abortions at the clinic met the admitting privileges requirement. One physician previously had the privileges, but they expired in July.

The department also said the clinic had too few parking spaces and must submit a plan within 10 days showing how it would correct the issue. The state regulations require the clinic to be "located in an attractive setting with sufficient parking space provided" (Wagster Pettus, AP/Huffington Post, 1/25).