And so it begins.
People who give a shit about women's reproductive health have been fighting to keep Mississippi's only abortion clinic open. It hasn't been an easy fight; setbacks include women's health-hating GOP legislators, inane new laws with impossible demands for abortion clinics, and general fucking with the U.S. Constitution. It's a disaster.
Last week, Jackson Women's Health Organization, the Mississippi abortion clinic in the heat of the battle, received a letter from the Department of Health saying their physicians are out of compliance with the new state mandate. The mandate requires all doctors in Mississippi to have hospital admitting privileges, and every single area hospital has refused to grant them to JWHO's doctors. Ugh.
According to the Clarion Ledger, JWHO's lawyers (from the NYC-based Center for Reproductive Rights) have 10 calendar days to request a hearing at the Department of Health. After that, the department has 30 calendar days to set a hearing. The hearing, which will be open to the public, can result in an immediate decision — or not. If the decision is licence revocation, the clinic will most likely appeal to the Chancery Court.
In the meantime, JWHO's lawyers are asking for a federal court injunction based on the laws constitutionality. They are waiting for a ruling on the request. If they don't get the injunction, the clinic could be forced to close as early as March. All eyes on Mississippi.