Constitutional Law

Law that would close Mississippi's only abortion clinic is enjoined by 5th Circuit

A federal appeals court has enjoined a Mississippi law requiring hospital-admission privileges for abortion-clinic doctors because it would have closed the state’s only abortion clinic.

The New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the law was unconstitutional as applied to the Jackson Women’s Health Organization and its patients. “Mississippi may not shift its obligation to respect the established constitutional rights of its citizens to another state,” the court said. The National Law Journal, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal (sub. req.) covered the decision.

Mississippi had argued the law did not impose an undue burden because its citizens could obtain an abortion in Tennessee, Louisiana or Alabama.

In March, a different 5th Circuit panel upheld a Texas law that also required abortion doctors to have hospital admission privileges, noting that the law would close only some of the state’s abortion clinics.

Mississippi is one of 11 states with admission-privileges laws, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Prior coverage: “Law that would shut down Mississippi’s only abortion clinic is reviewed by 5th Circuit”

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