Yesterday Judge Daniel Jordan, a Federal District Court judge, temporarily blocked the new Mississippi TRAP law that would force the Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the only abortion clinic in Mississippi, to close its doors. The law would require all physicians who perform abortions in Mississippi to have OB/GYN certification and have admitting privileges at local hospitals. Although all the physicians who work at the clinic are OB/GYNs, not all of them have successfully gained these privileges in Mississippi.
While some legislators claim this law was created solely to protect the health of patients, Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves publicly said that the intent of the law is to close Jackson Women’s Health Organization. Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant has also stated his support for making his state “abortion-free.” Despite Mississippi residents overwhelmingly voting “no” on Initiative 26 that would make abortions illegal in the state, right wing legislators have continued to push for anti-abortion legislation.
Although Judge Jordan has temporarily blocked the law, there will be a scheduled hearing on the issue for July 11 to determine whether the implementation of the law should be further delayed.
Mississippi is not the only state that has attempted to enforce unnecessary TRAP regulations on abortion clinics. Recently, lawmakers have also attempted to implement TRAP laws in Virginia, Kansas and Pennsylvania. Lawmakers who propose TRAP laws often claim to be motivated solely by a desire to protect the life of the mother. However, the explicit and implicit language used by top ranking lawmakers tells a different story. Many of them seem to be unable to separate their personal views from their political responsibilities. The only way to protect women from unsafe abortions is to protect their rights to easily access safe abortions from trained medical professionals. On July 11, Mississippi women will either have their rights restored, or they will likely lose the last place to get safe abortions in their state.
Top photo via Feminist Majority Foundation
Featured photo via Flickr user World Can’t Wait