Court blocks Mississippi law that would have shuttered state’s only abortion clinic

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The Jackson Women’s Health Organization is pictured in Jackson, Mississippi, on July 11, 2012. Photo by Emily Le Coz/Reuters

A federal court in Mississippi on Friday ruled against a state law that would have shut down the state’s lone abortion clinic in the capital city of Jackson.

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant in 2012 signed a bill into law that would have required abortion clinic doctors to secure special privileges to admit patients into local hospitals.

A lawsuit was filed soon after by the legal group Center for Reproductive Rights on behalf of the Jackson Women’s Health Organization challenged the law.

A federal court judge allowed the law to move forward but stopped the state from closing the clinic.

Friday’s ruling follows a successful legal challenge last year against a Texas state law similar to Mississippi’s. In June, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a Texas law requiring abortion clinics in the state to have surgical facilities and hospital admitting privileges.

Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, called Friday’s ruling “the latest victory for women’s health and rights.”

“And it will not be the last,” Northup said in a statement. “Our landmark win at the Supreme Court last summer continues to reverberate across the nation. Any politician trying to roll back women’s constitutional rights should take notice and remember the law is on our side.”

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