A federal judge upheld a Mississippi law Thursday that mandates doctors who perform abortions must be certified in obstetrics and gynecology.
U.S. District Judge Dan Jordan’s Thursday ruling comes after Mississippi’s only abortion clinic sued the state, charging that Mississippi’s abortion law, which requires doctors performing abortions must be certified OB-GYNs, posited a barrier to health care and presented an unconstitutional burden on women in the state seeking abortions.
Jordan’s ruling marks an affront to women and is an unfair obstacle that Mississippi women have to face that women in other states, Center for Reproductive Rights attorney Hillary Schneller explained to The Associated Press.
The law also posits however, that medical professionals performing abortions at Mississippi’s sole abortion clinic — Jackson Women’s Health — must be able to admit their patients to the hospital given any complications. Judge Jordan, however, ruled against this portion of the law in 2012. That ruling has not been appealed since.
Jordan’s ruling reflects Mississippi’s push for abortion reforms, including moving to ban abortions after 15 weeks of gestation, which some pro-choice advocates think is really a disguise to push the abortion conversation all the way to the Supreme Court. (RELATED: Pro-Choice Advocates Think Mississippi Abortion Restrictions Are A Sly Way Of Taking Abortion Reform To The Supreme Court)
Mississippi lawmakers also passed House Bill 1510 in early March, banning women from having abortions after 15 weeks gestation unless the unborn baby is not expected to survive outside the womb or if continuing the pregnancy will jeopardize the woman’s life. The bill would be the most conservative for any state, and awaits Mississippi Republican Gov. Phil Bryant’s signature.
Mississippi already outlaws most abortions after 20 weeks gestation, and 20 other states ban abortions after more than 20 weeks gestation. (RELATED: Changes In Abortion Legislation Are Sweeping Across The Country. Here’s What You Need To Know)