Judge Partially Blocks Mississippi TRAP Law: Doctors Will Not Be Penalized


In an odd, late Friday evening announcement, Mississippi Judge Daniel P. Jordan III has announced that he will allow the state’s TRAP law, H.B. 1390, to go into effect, in part, but  forbids doctors who do not comply with the law from being subject to civil or criminal penalties if they do not obtain admitting privileges to local area hospitals.

“The Act will be allowed to take effect, but Plaintiffs will not be subject to the risk of criminal or civil penalties at this time or in the future for operating without the relevant privileges during the administrative process,” stated Judge Jordan. “This will maintain the status quo in this litigation because the Defendants will be precluded from taking action that they do not now contemplate while Plaintiffs will be permitted to operate lawfully while continuing their efforts to obtain privileges as they said they would.”

Nancy Northup, President and CEO of Center for Reproductive Rights, the organization  representing the clinic and its doctors, said that despite the temporary reprieve for JWHO, the organization will continue to fight to keep the women of Mississippi safe from anti-choice legislator’s attempt to do more backdoor abortion bans.

“Today’s decision has ensured, for the time being, that anti-choice politicians in Mississippi cannot relegate the women of their state to a second class of citizens that can be denied their constitutional rights with the stroke of a legislator’s pen.

“Every woman in the United States must be guaranteed the same rights and protections under the laws of the land, no matter where she happens to live.”

By allowing the law to go into effect but protecting doctors from penalties as they continue to try to meet the new regulations set by the state, the judge has managed to both reaffirm the anti-choice argument that forcing doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges does not constitute undue burden while still managing to not set a new precedent that could have defined what constitutes “undue burden” under Planned Parenthood vs. Casey.

Like this story? Your $10 tax-deductible contribution helps support our research, reporting, and analysis.

Follow Robin Marty on Twitter: @robinmarty

To schedule an interview with Robin Marty please contact Communications Director Rachel Perrone at rachel@rhrealitycheck.org.