JACKSON, Miss. — The owner of Mississippi’s only abortion clinic said Thursday she expected legislators to keep trying to put new restrictions on the facility and the procedure, regardless of how a federal judge rules in a fight over a new state law.
“They’ve made their intent quite clear,” Diane Derzis told The Associated Press. “They’re going to keep coming back. They’re not going to be satisfied until they have driven us out of business. I think everybody can see that.”
A day after a federal judge kept a restraining order against the law in place, employees at Jackson Women’s Health Organization were scheduling appointments for women seeking to terminate pregnancies. Derzis said it was a normal administrative day. Doctors do abortions there two or three days a week, but Thursday wasn’t one of them.
Because there were no patients, there were also few people praying or protesting outside under rainy skies.
A new law would require anyone who performs abortions at the clinic to be an OB-GYN with privileges to admit patients to a local hospital. The clinic filed a lawsuit June 27 seeking to stop the law, which it says creates unnecessary bureaucratic hurdles that could drive it out of business.
Judge Daniel P. Jordan III issued a temporary restraining order to block the measure on July 1, the day it was supposed to take effect.
On Wednesday, Jordan heard two hours of arguments about the clinic’s request for a preliminary injunction, which – if granted – would put the law on hold for weeks or months. Jordan extended the temporary restraining order Wednesday but didn’t indicate when he might rule on the request for a longer block.
When the governor signed the measure into law in April, he said, “If it closes that clinic, then so be it.” Republican Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves said: “We have an opportunity today with the signing of this bill to end abortion in Mississippi and also to protect women.” Plus similar comments by Republican Gov. Phil Bryant show show lawmakers were trying to eliminate access to a constitutionally protected medical procedure.
Clinic operators say almost all the abortions in the state are done in their building. They say in court papers that the clinic did about 3,000 abortions in 18 months.
This is completely ridiculous and going backwards.. It makes me wonder if it’s a sign that the rest of the country will go in. Although it’s irresponsible to have unprotected sex Mississippi women had better stock up on the morning after pill.