Mississippi H.B. 1390 should be upheld

The State of Mississippi had enacted H.B. 1390 back in 2012 that requires the following:

  • That abortionists have admitting privileges at a local hospital
  • That abortionists are board certified or eligible in obstetrics and gynecology
  • That a staff member who is trained in CPR be present at the abortion clinic when the abortion clinic is open

Even though the enforcement of H.B. 1390 would force Mississippi’s only abortion clinic from closing, H.B. 1390 is in and of itself constitutionally permissible because its primary purpose is to protect women who undergo abortions against the dangers that would be involved. In fact, the United States Supreme Court had already ruled that “From the stage subsequent to approximately the end of the first trimester, the State, in promoting its interest in the health of the mother, may, if it chooses, regulate the abortion procedure in ways that are reasonably related to maternal health” in the Roe v. Wade case. Additionally, the United States Supreme Court had also ruled that “the State has legitimate interests from the outset of the pregnancy in protecting the health of the woman and the life of the fetus that may become a child” in the Planned Parenthood v. Casey case.

The United States Supreme Court should uphold H.B. 1390, even if it leads to the closing of the last remaining abortion clinic in Mississippi, for the following reasons:

  • H.B. 1390 does not prohibit new abortion providers that can comply with the requirements set forth in H.B. 1390 from operating abortion clinics in the state of Mississippi.
  • Pregnant women who are U.S. citizens currently have a right to obtain a legal abortion at an abortion clinic in any other state of the U.S. under the Privileges and Immunities Clause of the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution as a result of the Doe v. Bolton case.
  • Furthermore, pregnant women who are not U.S. citizens also have a legal right to obtain abortions in any other state of the U.S. under applicable state law.
  • 60 percent of Mississippi women who undergo abortions already obtain these abortions at out-of-state abortion clinics that are geographically closer to them than Jackson Women’s Health Organization.
  • Most abortion-seeking women who are in unplanned pregnancies are only willing to undergo abortions if it is legal, readily available, and easily accessible to them, and most of these same women are personally unwilling to undergo an abortion if it is illegal, not readily available, or not easily accessible.
  • The admitting privileges requirement provided under Mississippi H.B. 1390 ensures that continuity of medical care is there if a complication arises as a result of an abortion.
  • In addition to ensuring continuity of medical care, having admitting privileges at a local hospital can save the lives of patients who are suffering from life-threatening complications by ensuring that these patients are able to obtain emergency medical care immediately.
  • All three of the restrictions contained within H.B. 1390 are intended to minimize the dangers of abortion procedures on the life and health of the woman who is undergoing an abortion.
  • The State of Mississippi has a legitimate governmental interest in protecting the health of the women who are undergoing abortions at abortion clinics that are located in the state of Mississippi, and all three of the restrictions contained in H.B. 1390 further this legitimate governmental interest.
  • There are some constitutionally guaranteed rights that might require travel to another state or to Washington, D.C. in order to exercise that right, and the fact that a right is guaranteed by the United States Constitution does not necessarily require that one has to be able to exercise that right in his or her state of residence so long as the right can be exercised elsewhere in the United States. For example, a person who is appealing a federal criminal conviction might have to travel to an appellate court in another state or to the United States Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. in order to appeal the conviction. As an another example, a woman who is seeking to undergo a late-term abortion might have to travel to an out-of-state late-term abortion clinic that is willing to perform a late-term abortion.
  • Many of the women who are considering abortions choose to seek one because they do not want to take care of their unborn child after he or she is born, and many of these same women would choose to have the baby if they have easier access to pro-life prenatal care, they are provided with the support needed to have the baby, and they are provided with the support needed to take care of the baby if he or she is not given up for adoption.
  • H.B. 1390 would be clearly constitutionally permissible if Roe v. Wade is reversed or if an amendment to the United States Constitution that gives states the authority to prohibit abortions is ratified.

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