Mississippi Could Lose Its Only Abortion Clinic
Last year, Kansas narrowly avoided becoming the first “abortion-free” state. That title might soon go to Mississippi, thanks to a bill that would require clinic doctors to obtain official admitting privileges at a local hospital before they can perform abortions—a standard that many believe was custom-designed to foil the state’s only abortion clinic.
Proponents of the bill, which was sent to the Governor’s desk by the state Senate yesterday, claim they’re just trying to protect women’s health by ensuring that if a complication occurs after an abortion, doctors can admit the patient to a hospital. While all the physicians at the Jackson Women’s Health Organization in Jackson, Miss. are certified OB-GYNs—another of the bill’s requirements—only one of its doctors currently has admitting privileges to a nearby hospital. Instead, in the rare case of complications, the clinic has a patient-transfer agreement with a local hospital to ensure that women can be treated there.
Admitting privileges are usually only granted to in-state doctors who will provide the hospital with a certain number of patients per month. The clinic’s owner, Diane Derzis, told the Associated Press that most of the clinic’s doctors commute to Jackson from out of state because “they are routinely threatened and stalked for their work.”