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Mississippi Could Become First Abortion-Free State

by Steven Ertelt | Jackson, MS | LifeNews.com | 4/5/12 12:15 PM

State

The Mississippi state Senate has approved a measure that abortion backers strongly oppose because it could result in stopping abortions at the last remaining abortion facility in the state, making it the first abortion-free state in the country.

The ability of pro-life laws to reduce the number of abortions and abortion clinics in a state is longstanding and some states like South Carolina, Missouri, Michigan and others have seen abortions drop to historic lows thanks to a variety of pro-life legislation stopping abortions, protecting women and protecting teen girls and parental rights. Mississippi is one such state and its laws have helped close all but one abortion center.

Now, a bill to require abortion practitioners to have admitting privileges at a local hospital in case a botched abortion requires a woman to be immediately hospitalized has the potential to make it so the final abortion business may have trouble securing an abortion practitioner with such privileges.

The Mississippi state Senate passed the bill yesterday and representatives of the abortion center say it could force it to close. The bill has already cleared the state House and pro-life Republican Governor Phil Bryant is expected to sign it into law.

“This legislation is an important step in strengthening abortion regulations and protecting the health and safety of women,” Bryant said in a statement. “As governor, I will continue to work to make Mississippi abortion-free.”

Diane Derzis, owner of the Jackson Women’s Health Organization abortion facility, has said she will challenge the bill in court if it becomes law. She told Reuters that only one of the three abortion practitioners it employs has admitting privileges at a local hospital because many hospitals refuse to provide admitting privileges to abortion practitioners.

Requiring abortion practitioners to have such admitting privileges is not new and the state of Indiana has pursued them because of problems with botched abortions.

Because so many women suffer from botched abortions that require immediate follow-up medical care, local officials approved what it said is a needed ordinance. It requires any abortion practitioners coming to Fort Wayne from out of town to inform a local hospital because they would not have proper admitting privileges to admit women who are victimized by failed abortions and need immediate medical care.

A judge issued a ruling that pro-life groups said was favorable for the much-needed law. Alliance Defense Fund attorneys representing Allen County say the court order the judge issued denies most of abortion practitioner George Klopfer’s motion to stop critical aspects of the new Patient Safety Ordinance.

ADF tells LifeNews.com that means those provisions can go into effect and that the door is open for other Indiana counties to enact similar legislation.

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“A patient’s health is more important than an abortionist’s bottom line,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Steven H. Aden.

“The county simply can’t put the health and safety of patients at risk because one man wants to perform abortions without a sensible safety precaution that applies to all out-of-town physicians, not just abortionists,” he said. “The ordinance is very clearly designed to make sure that patients receive appropriate treatment in a medical emergency that can arise after an itinerant physician has gone back home and is no longer available to care for the patient.”

Dr. Geoff Cly, a Fort Wayne gynecologist who has treated several of a local abortion practitioner’s patients after failed abortions, told the Fort Wayne newspaper at the time the bill is needed.

“I’m disappointed because patients are being harmed and the powers that be aren’t taking action to protect the women,” Cly said. “How can we hold him accountable like the rest of surgeons? Admission privileges are one way. If anyone has any other ways, let me know.”

According to Americans United for Life, a national pro-life group that promotes state legislation, abortion practitioners in eleven states are required to maintain local hospital admitting privileges. These states include Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, and Utah.