As Rachel Maddow rightfully pointed out, Republicans love to rail against "big government" unless of course it means restricting women's access to health care and safe access to abortions. Then they just love really, really, really big government.
Rand Paul and his attempt to add an irrelevant "fetal personhood" amendment to the flood insurance bill went down in flames this Friday night thankfully. And in Mississippi, unless there's some intervention at the federal level, the state may find their only abortion clinic legislated out of existence this coming Sunday.
Mississippi's only abortion clinic sued Wednesday to stop a law that it says will effectively ban abortion in the state and endanger women's health by limiting access to the procedure.
Jackson Women's Health Organization said in the federal lawsuit that the measure would close the clinic, is unconstitutional and would ban abortion in Mississippi "by imposing medically unjustified requirements on physicians who perform abortions."
Republican Gov. Phil Bryant has said his goal is to eliminate abortions in the state, and on Wednesday he said "Mississippi stands ready to vigorously defend House Bill 1390," the new law.
When he signed the bill, Bryant responded to what effect the law could have on the state's only abortion clinic by saying, "If it closes that clinic, then so be it."
The law takes effect Sunday, but the clinic is asking a federal judge in Jackson to issue a temporary restraining order to stop the state from enforcing it.
The clinic said the unjustified requirement in the law is that it requires anyone who performs an abortion at a clinic to be an OB-GYN with privileges to admit patients to a local hospital. Lawmakers said that is for patients' safety. The lawsuit says it's impossible for the clinic's physicians to get local hospital admitting privileges by Sunday. [...]
The lawsuit is filed against the head of the state Health Department, Dr. Mary Currier. The department's spokeswoman, Liz Sharlot, said Currier had been notified but it would be "inappropriate" for the department to comment on it.
"However, we will assure that this law is enforced in the same manner as we enforce all of our other state and federal health regulations and statutes for any health care facility in this state," Sharlot said.
Sharlot said any health facility in Mississippi is given time to comply with state laws or regulations, including 30 days to appeal if a license is revoked. The department plans to inspect the abortion clinic July 2, Sharlot said.
When Bryant signed the new restrictions on April 16, he also said: "Today you see the first step in a movement, I believe, to do what we campaigned on – to say we're going to try to end abortion in Mississippi."
The clinic says unless a judge blocks enforcement, it will "be forced to stop providing abortion care to the women in Mississippi as of July 1, 2012, leaving those women with nowhere else to turn." Read on...