Mississippi's only abortion clinic misses deadline - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Mississippi's only abortion clinic misses deadline

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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Mississippi's only abortion clinic missed a deadline Friday to comply with a state law requiring each of its physicians to get hospital admitting privileges.

Diane Derzis, administrator of the Jackson Women's Health Organization, said every Jackson-area hospital where the clinic applied for privileges said it doesn't want to deal with the pressure of being associated with abortion providers.

As the deadline passes, the Mississippi Department of Health won't immediately close the clinic, but will pay an unannounced visit to the clinic within the next few days. If the clinic is found to be non-compliant, the health department will send them a notice of intent to revoke their license.

Within 30 days of receiving that notice, the clinic can request a hearing on the matter. After the hearing, the hearing officer will have up to four weeks to make a determination.

Republican Gov. Phil Bryant signed the law in 2012, and he says his goal is to shut the clinic.

Pro-Choice advocates last year succeeded in getting a restraining order to put the new law on hold until now.

We talked to Julie Rikelman, Litigation Director for the Center for Reproductive Rights, in June.

"A number of the politicians who have supported this law have been very clear that the purpose of it was to make Mississippi abortion-free," Rikelman said.

Spokesperson for Pro-Life of Mississippi Tanya Britton said she would like to see the state become abortion-free. However, the law as its written, she says, will establish a standard of care at the clinic.

"And that standard of care is expected in every other area of the medical industry," Britton said.

Copyright 2013 MSNewsNow. All rights reserved. AP contributed to this report.

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