A Republican lawmaker in Missouri said during a committee hearing last week that the state health department director could be held in contempt if she refuses to name a hospital that grants admitting privileges to abortion providers.
A ruling issued last week prevents regulators from enforcing a measure that forces some abortion clinics meet the same standards as mini-hospitals.
Through the first six months of 2015, states enacted 51 new abortion restrictions; this brings the number of restrictions enacted since 2010 to 282.
Late Friday, the Fifth Circuit ruled it would not stay an order that could force all but nine clinics in the state to close.
The Roberts Court will consider stepping into the fight over Mississippi’s admitting privileges requirement for abortion providers in a case that could make it harder for pro-choice advocates to combat restrictions based in junk science.
Twelve states have enacted such policies, which require doctors to obtain admitting privileges at a local hospital, and they are in effect in five states. But the seminal questions are: Does this requirement benefit women? And what are the costs to women and providers?
The ruling dismisses a portion of the challenge to the law but lets the underlying challenge to its constitutionality proceed.
The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals revised its abortion clinic licensing standards, and the new regulations could severely restrict access to legal abortion care throughout the state.
The Roberts Court could decide in May to take up a Mississippi law designed to close the state’s only abortion clinic.
The logical outcome of the current anti-choice strategy is arrests of pregnant women and the people who try to help them: Coerce women into the black market by reducing the number of legal abortion providers, and then leave them to the prosecutors.