A federal judge on Wednesday continued to block a state law that threatened to shut down Mississippi’s only abortion clinic and make it nearly impossible for a woman to get the procedure in the state.
U.S. District Judge Daniel P. Jordan III temporarily blocked the law July 1 and extended that order Wednesday, though he did not say when he would rule on the clinic’s request to put the law on hold for a longer period. If he grants that request, the case eventually would go to trial.
The U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision in 1973 established a nationwide right to abortion. In 1992, the court’s decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey upheld the Roe decision and allowed states to regulate abortions before fetuses are viable. But the 1992 decision also said states may not place undue burdens or substantial obstacles to women seeking abortion.
If the clinic closed, the closest clinics to Jackson are about 200 miles away, in Louisiana, Tennessee and Alabama.
The extension will last until the judge can read the rules on how the Mississippi Department of Health will administer the law.