A date has been set for the case against an anti-abortion law that could shut down the last abortion clinic in Mississippi. In an order released on Friday, U.S. District Judge Daniel P. Jordan III scheduled jury selection in the case to begin March 3, 2014.
In April, U.S. Judge Jordan extended a temporary injunction that prevented the state from closing the clinic as it tried to come into compliance with a 2012 law requiring all doctors who perform abortions at the clinic to have admitting privileges at local hospitals. The injunction was extended until the constitutionality of the law can be determined in a current pending lawsuit against the state.
So far, no hospital within 30 miles of the clinic has granted admitting privileges to any of the doctors. One rejection letter stated that the clinic "is inconsistent with this hospital's policies and practices as concerns abortion and, in particular, elective abortions... The nature of your proposed medical practice would lead to both an internal and external disruption of the hospital's function and business within this community."
Media Resources: Associated Press 8/16/2013; Feminist Newswire 4/16/2013, 11/29/2012
11/20/2014 Federal Appeals Court Rejects Priests for Life Challenge to Birth Control Coverage Rule - In a victory for women's health, a unanimous panel of the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit on Friday rejected a challenge to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) contraceptive coverage benefit brought by Priests for Life, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Washington and other religiously affiliated non-profit organizations.
Judge Nina Pillard, a former law professor who was nominated to the DC Circuit by President Obama and confirmed by the Senate in December, wrote the opinion for the Court, which found that the ACA birth control benefit did not substantially burden or violate non-profits' religious freedom.
Under the Affordable Care Act, health insurance companies must cover the full cost of all FDA-approved contraceptives - including the pill, IUDs, and emergency contraception - without requiring co-pays or cost-sharing. . . .