Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Last abortion clinic in Mississippi facing obstacles

In the entire state of Mississippi, there is only one clinic where abortions are performed, and it is in trouble. The Jackson Women's Health Organization is waiting to hear whether it will be granted a new state certification so that it may continue offering its full range of procedures.

This year, Mississippi banned early second trimester abortions in facilities that did not have ambulatory surgical center standards, a move which made the clinic in Jackson ineligible to apply for a license. A federal judge dispensed with the new law, but at the governor's urging, the legistlature passed a second law that would make the Jackson Women's Health Organization elibible to apply. However, the clinic has not yet met all of the criteria, and there is a question as to whether the state will grant it a provisional license while final compliance details are worked out.

Mississippi anti-choice activist Terri Herring wants the state to require a doctor or doctor's assistant to offer women an opportunity to view ultrasound imaging of their fetuses, and to listen to the fetal heartbeat at least twenty-four hours before an abortion procedure takes place.


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