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Mississippi's Sole Abortion Clinic Will Miraculously Stay Open

Illustration for article titled Mississippis Sole Abortion Clinic Will Miraculously Stay Open

Mississippi's lone abortion clinic will stay open for now, thanks to a federal judge who temporarily blocked a law that would've closed it down because he's concerned that it may be unconstitutional to force women to leave the state in search of legal abortion. Ya think?


The law in question is the same kind of Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) bill we've been seeing all over the place, from North Dakota to Alabama. It requires doctors at abortion clinics to have admitting privileges at local hospitals, a tricky endeavor that's pretty much doomed to fail in conservative states. According to the New York Times, Mississippi's governor and several legislators didn't even bother to disguise their hopeful glee that the bill — which advocates said was meant to protect women's health — would lead to the closing of the Jackson Women's Health Clinic. As all predicted, the physicians and the clinic couldn't meet the law's requirements. The health of women prevails!

Well, actually, it does — for now — thanks to this temporary ruling.

“Closing its doors would — as the state seems to concede in this argument — force Mississippi women to leave Mississippi to obtain a legal abortion,” Judge Daniel P. Jordan III wrote in his opinion on Monday. The state's position, he noted, “would result in a patchwork system where constitutional rights are available in some states but not others.” Unfortunately, Mississippi isn't the only state trying to participate in the eradicate abortion quilting bee.



Image via AP.

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These bills are one reason I'm so angry that Harry Reid wimped out on filibuster reform. Abortion rights groups are no doubt reluctant to force the issue in federal court right now, because if it comes to the Supreme Court, there's a significant risk that Roe will be reversed or significantly crippled. If any Supreme Court justice dies or resigns with things in the current state, it will be virtually impossible for President Obama to appoint a replacement because the Republicans will block anyone he chooses. If Reid had pushed filibuster reform through, that would not be the case.