Mississippi cracks down on abortion providers

Posted on April 5, 2012


The Florida Independent, April 5, 2012 by Ashley Lopez

Mississippi’s state Legislature this week passed a bill that would place prohibitive restrictions on abortion providers in the state, in an effort to curb access to legal abortions. The Florida Legislature attempted to pass a similar bill this year that would crack down on providers, but the measure was blocked by a group of state senators before it could make it to the floor.

Kaiser Health News reports:

The Mississippi legislature has passed a bill that will require any doctor performing abortions in the state to be a board-certified OB-GYN with admitting privileges at a local hospital. The change could make staffing the state’s sole abortion clinic very difficult, since most of the doctors who practice at Jackson Women’s Health live out-of-state and admitting privileges at the nearest hospital are given only to local physicians.

Laws like this are referred to as “TRAP laws,” or “Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers” laws. These types of restrictions are meant to “single out the medical practices of doctors who provide abortions, and impose on them requirements that are different and more burdensome than those imposed on other medical practices,” according to the Center for Reproductive Rights.

They have become popular as of late, because they are easier to pass through legislatures and do not typically run into problems with abortion rights protections provided by Roe v. Wade.

Florida lawmakers also tried to pass a TRAP law this year in a bill women’s health advocates were calling an “omnibus anti-choice bill” because it was written to include several anti-abortion measures that did not pass in the GOP-led Florida Legislature during the previous session.

The bill was passed by the Florida House, but there was an unsuccessful attempt to use a procedural move to bring the bill out of committee and onto the Senate floor for a final vote. A coalition of Democrats and Republicans, led by State Sen. Nan Rich, D-Sunrise, blocked that move, effectively killing the bill’s chances of getting to the governor’s desk. Women’s health advocates declared victory once the session finally ended.

Mississippi’s Republican Gov. Phil Bryant is expected to sign the state’s crack down on abortion providers within days.

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Posted in: Florida, Mississippi