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The Jackson Women's Health Organization, the state's sole abortion clinic, / Clarion-Ledger

JACKSON, Miss. - Mississippi's lone abortion clinic can stay open after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit on Tuesday upheld a preliminary injunction against a state law that threatened to close the clinic and force women to go out of state to receive the procedure.

Claiming the law would place an undue burden on the right to seek an abortion, the court ruled that "Mississippi may not shift its obligation to respect the established constitutional rights of its citizens to another state."

Jackson Women's Health Organization, which serves roughly 2,000 women annually, has fought the law since its April 12, 2012, passage.

It requires all abortion providers to be certified OB-GYNs and have admitting privileges at a local hospital.

Thirty-nine other states also require that OB-GYNs perform abortions, and nine others mandate hospital privileges, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a nonprofit organization dedicated to sexual and reproductive rights.

Jackson Women's Health Organization was refused admitting privileges at any of the half dozen hospitals within a 30-minute drive of the clinic, said clinic spokeswoman Betty Thompson.

"I'm jubilant," said clinic owner Diane Derzis. "The courts did the right thing."

Derzis said the battle over women's rights rages on in Mississippi and elsewhere.

"There will be more legislation, there will be more hoops to jump through," she said. "Right now, we're just thankful we're still open."

Derzis also anticipates the state will appeal the decision.

Calls to the Mississippi Attorney General's Office and Mississippi Department of Health were not immediately returned.



Copyright 2014 USATODAY.com

Read the original story: Court rules in favor of Miss. abortion clinic

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