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Judge lets Miss. abortion clinic stay open

July 14, 2012 at 2:34 PM

JACKSON, Miss., July 14 (UPI) -- Mississippi's only abortion clinic can remain open while it tries to comply with a new state law requiring a hospital relationship, a federal judge said.

U.S. District Judge Dan Jordan's ruling Friday protects the Jackson Women's Health Organization for at least the next few months, The Christian Science Monitor reported. So far, the clinic has failed to get admission privileges with at least one hospital reportedly saying "forget about it."

The law is aimed at making it impossible to operate a clinic in the state, and Gov. Phil Bryant said he hoped it would make Mississippi "abortion free."

While the U.S. Supreme Court's 1972 decision in Roe vs. Wade prevents states from banning abortion, Planned Parenthood vs. Casey 20 years later allowed states to impose regulations, as long as they allow women access to abortion services. About 2,000 abortions are performed in Mississippi every year, most of them at the clinic.

The state Health Department said the clinic will lose its license if it does not comply with the law in about 10 months. Women in Mississippi, which has one of the highest rates of teen pregnancy in the United States, would then have to travel to other states to get abortions.

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