Fifth Circuit Enjoins Mississippi Law Designed to Protect Women’s Health

In yet more news out of Mississippi, a three-judge panel from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals enjoined a law that many hoped would spell the end of the Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the last abortion clinic in the state. Ironically, a different panel of judges from Fifth Circuit recently upheld Texas’ very similar law. The laws in both states required abortionists to maintain hospital privileges within 30 miles of their abortion clinic. Because doctors at the Jackson Clinic could not obtain admitting privileges, it was assumed that the clinic would close. The appeals court ruling rested on fact that women would have to travel out of state for an abortion, which the court concluded was an undue burden making it so the law could not stand.

“Abortion clinic owners such as Diane Derzis don’t care about women’s health, safety or welfare,” comments Dana Cody, President and Executive Director of Life Legal Defense Foundation. “They are out to make a buck and have proved themselves willing to cut corners and break the law in the process.”

Last year, the state of Alabama finally succeeded in shutting down an illegal abortion clinic in Birmingham, the same operation that had been the subject of a state investigation that resulted in a 76-page deficiency report outlining health and safety violations in that one clinic alone. The same clinic owner, Ms. Derzis, owns the Jackson Women’s Health Organization, and is known to employ the same shady doctors to commit abortions in Mississippi as she utilizes at other clinics. Understandably, there are questions as to whether this clinic meets rudimentary health and safety standards.