Doctors at Mississippi's sole abortion clinic are allowed to continue performing the procedure, even if they do not have admitting and staff privileges at an area hospital, as required by a new state law, a federal judge ruled Friday.
But state officials can begin an administrative process that could ultimately lead to the closing of the clinic, said U.S. District Judge Daniel P. Jordan III.
The law took effect July 1 and requires all abortion providers in Mississippi to be certified obstetrician/gynecologists with privileges at local hospitals. Doctors at Jackson Women's Health Organization, the only abortion provider in the state, come in from other states, and only one of its doctors is authorized to practice at a nearby hospital.
Supporters of the new law say it is intended to protect women from unscrupulous practitioners, but others say it's part of a move to outlaw abortions in the state.