Earlier today the full 5th Circuit Court of Appeals refused to reconsider a ruling by a three-judge panel which blocked Mississippi from enforcing a law that requires abortionists to have admitting privileges at a local hospital. The court offered no explanation.
The effect is that the Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the state’s lone abortion clinic, will remain open as the legal challenge continues. The next step is that the case now heads back to the federal district court.
As NRL News Today reported on July 29, a divided panel concluded that H.B. 1390 was unconstitutional. The decision, written by Judges E. Grady Jolly on behalf of himself and Judge Stephan A. Higginson, offered some very odd extrapolations but in the end concluded the law must fall because the impact would be to shut down the state’s lone abortion clinic. (We are reposting the story we wrote about the dissent of Judge Emilio M. Garza.)
Within days of the panel’s decision, Attorney General Jim Hood filed papers asking the 15-member circuit to overturn the decision and allow Mississippi to enforce HB 1390. The Mississippi law is part of a constellation of pro-life laws taken to court by the Center for Reproductive Rights and the ACLU.
Ten other states have similar admitting privileges laws, laws that were passed to ensure that when there is a medical emergency, the abortionist could follow the woman to the hospital.
Judge Garza carefully rebutted each of the arguments made by his two colleague. See “Court strikes law that would have closed Mississippi’s last abortion clinic.”
LifeNews.com Note: Dave Andrusko is the editor of National Right to Life News and an author and editor of several books on abortion topics. This post originally appeared at National Right to Life News Today.