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Mississippi's Only Abortion Clinic Scrambles To Comply With New Law

Mississippi's Only Abortion Clinic Scrambles To Comply With New Law

June 11, 2012 — The only abortion clinic in Mississippi is racing to comply with a new law (HB 1390) requiring abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a local hospital and be board certified in obstetrics and gynecology, the Jackson Clarion-Ledger reports. The law takes effect on July 1, and failure to comply could mean the clinic could be shut down.

Officials with the Jackson Women's Health Organization have applied for admitting privileges at every eligible medical facility in the area, clinic spokesperson Betty Thompson said. Diane Derzis, the clinic's owner, is prepared to challenge the law in court if its physicians are denied admitting privileges.

All three abortion providers at the clinic are board certified ob-gyns, but only one lives in Mississippi full time. Obtaining privileges also could be a challenge because many religiously-affiliated hospitals will not affiliate with abortion providers.

Public hospitals also have stringent guidelines. For example, University of Mississippi Medical Center requires approval from officials in the appropriate clinical department, an executive committee and the dean of medicine, according to spokesperson Tom Fortner (Bakeman, Jackson Clarion-Ledger, 6/9).