AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis
Jackson Women's Health Organization owner Diane Derzis, walks past abortion opponents protesting outside Mississippi's only abortion clinic in Jackson, Miss.
A federal judge extended the block on Mississippi’s anti-abortion bill on Wednesday, once again buying time for the state's last remaining abortion clinic to fight for its survival.
U.S. District Judge Daniel P. Jordan III, a George W. Bush appointee, extended the temporary restraining order against an anti-abortion bill that, once enforced, would require any licensed abortion provider to be an OB-GYN with privileges to admit patients to a local hospital. Jordan had blocked the law from going into effect at the start of this month, but he has yet to say for how long that hold would remain in place.
The extension temporarily prevents Mississippi's lone abortion clinic, the Jackson Women's Health Organization, from being forced to close its doors. The clinic has been combating conservative efforts to effectively ban legal abortions through a technicality, and argues that it would face "irreparable harm" should the law go into place. The clinic's two out of state OB-GYNs have yet to be granted hospital privileges and say local hospitals have yet to respond to requests.
"If they're denied or if the hospitals are dragging their feet, that's going to be more clear evidence that there's a substantial obstacle," clinic attorney Robert McDuff said.