Abortion clinic stays open; controversy goes to federal court - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Abortion clinic stays open; controversy goes to federal court

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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

In the legal battle to keep its doors open, the Jackson Women's Health Organization, known as being the state's only abortion clinic, is getting some court ordered support.

"It was pretty amazing because we had no idea that it could even happen," said the clinic's owner Diane Derzis.

What happened is a ruling from US District Judge Dan Jordan extending an injunction against a 2012 state law aimed at closing the clinic's doors for good. The ruling blocks a requirement that physicians have admitting privileges to local hospitals. Derzis says no local hospital will grant those privileges. This comes days before the state department of health was scheduled to hold a license revocation hearing.

"There's nothing the health department could have done but to find the clinic out of compliance," said Tanya Britton with Pro-Life Mississippi.

For those who want to see the clinic shut down, like Britton, she says state law should be allowed to move forward.

"It was a good law and the law was constitutional," said Britton.

Derzis argues the law is not only unconstitutional but a waste of legislative time and taxpayer money.

"They knew that a court challenge would ensue and that costs money, money that this state does not have to spend," said Derzis.

The judge in the case says the state cannot close the clinic while a lawsuit is pending and noted the irreparable harm of closing the clinic is enough to justify injunctive relief.

"The sad thing is, is that the irreparable harm is caused everyday to women and to the babies that are killed there," said Britton.

Derzis says one out of three women have had an abortion which shows the medical importance of her clinic.

"That means that we need to start talking about why we sought this service. It's simply a part of healthcare. This is not something special," said Derzis.

With this ruling and the legal issues surrounding it, the clinic could essentially stay open for years as the case makes it way through the appellate process.

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