Mississippi Could Be “Abortion-Free” On July 1st As Bryant Signs TRAP Bill Into Law


Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant will sign into law today the state’s new bill requiring all abortion providers to be registered OB-GYNs with admission privileges to a local hospital.  The new regulations, which could possibly stop the state’s only clinic from operating, will go into effect on July 1st unless it is stopped by a judicial injunction.

Jackson Women’s Health Organization clinic owner Diane Derzis has said that she will likely file suit against the state in order to keep the law from being enforced.  Derzis’s clinic has three providers, all of whom are registered OB-GYNs, but only one with local admitting privileges.  The doctors, who live out of state due to safety and privacy concerns, have been denied privileges by local hospitals.  However, Derzis asserts, the clinic has transfer agreements with the local hospitals, making the new regulations mostly redundant.

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  • ankhorite

    Author, kindly define TRAP because not all of your readers are from your state and know the acronym.  Thanks.

  • littleblue

    from a fact sheet that has data up to 2005:

     

    http://www.prochoice.org/about_abortion/facts/trap_laws.html

     

    TRAP stands for Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers. TRAP bills single out abortion providers for medically unnecessary, politically motivated state regulations. They can be divided into three general categories:

    • a measure that singles out abortion providers for medically unnecessary regulations, standards, personnel qualifications, building and/or structural requirements;
    • a politically motivated provision that needlessly addresses the licensing of abortion clinics and/or charges an exorbitant fee to register a clinic in the state; or
    • a measure that unnecessarily regulates where abortions may be provided or designates abortion clinics as ambulatory surgical centers, outpatient care centers, or hospitals without medical justification.

     

     

    What is the purpose of a TRAP bill?

    TRAP bills stigmatize and burden abortion providers and are calculated to chip away at abortion access under the guise of legitimate regulation. These measures are often introduced by abortion opponents who claim that abortion is an unsafe and unregulated procedure. By implying that abortion clinics are uniquely dangerous and in need of special regulation, such bills recklessly promote an unfounded fear that abortion is unsafe. Abortion is in fact one of the safest medical procedures provided in the United States.

    Many TRAP bills grant broad authority to the state department of health to develop structural and staffing requirements for abortion clinics. Often, the resulting regulations are based on existing hospital guidelines including specific dimensions for procedure rooms and hallways, doorway widths, and complex ventilation systems. Some regulations mandate what types of medical professionals must be on staff, assign certain duties to various staff members or require patient evaluations that are not medically necessary. These types of regulations are not medically justified. Abortion has an outstanding safety record. Instead, these regulations create a large burden for small outpatient clinics. Clinics can be forced to extensively remodel and hire new staff or even close entirely, resulting in women having to travel great distances to obtain abortion care.

     

    What is the impact of TRAP laws?

    Enactment of this type of legislation discourages health care providers from offering abortion care and can make provision very burdensome and/or expensive for smaller providers. This exacerbates the provider shortage that already exists in the United States. In 2000, 87% of counties in the U.S. did not have a single abortion provider, and this number rose to 97% for non-metropolitan counties.3 In addition, mandated staffing requirements and qualifications that often appear in TRAP bills restrict clinicians’ autonomy by tying them to a particular hospital within a certain distance of the clinic, which unnecessarily limits the ability of providers to travel to serve underrepresented populations.

    How prevalent are TRAP laws?

    Currently, at least 34 states have some type of TRAP law. Each year, state legislatures across the country introduce new TRAP provisions or modify their existing regulations. In 2005, twenty-one states introduced TRAP bills, and four of these bills were enacted. As these restrictions continue to build on each other, it becomes more and more difficult for abortion providers to remain open and for women to safely access their full range of reproductive health care services. Activists must be vigilant to ensure that these targeted regulations do not force clinics to close and deny women access to safe and legal abortion services.