Via NY Daily News
A woman nicknamed the "Abortion Queen" is fighting to keep the doors open at the last abortion clinic in Mississippi.
On Wednesday, a federal judge ruled that Jackson Women's Health Organization, in Jackson, Miss., can remain open for now, despite a new law mandating all clinic doctors be authorized to practice at a nearby hospital, CNN reports.
A battle has been brewing since the legislation was introduced, as Jackson is the sole clinic that provides abortions in the state of Mississippi, and most of its doctors come from other states, and don't have admitting privileges at Mississippi hospitals. The law also mandates that all abortion providers be licensed OB/GYNs.
The clinic was allowed to remain open temporarily while its doctors applied for hospital privileges. The clinic's owner, Diane Derziz, told CNN it has applied for doctors to be able to admit patients to seven hospitals within a 30-mile radius, including one Catholic hospital that told her "not to bother." She fears not enough doctors will secure privileges, and the clinic will be forced to close. Derziz has also said that many of her doctors live outside Mississippi because they fear for their safety.
Most hospitals don’t allow admitting priveleges to doctors who practice outside the state.
Derziz, 58, who owns two other abortion clinics in the South, bought the Jackson clinic two years ago. A longtime abortion rights activist, Derziz became widely-known after her Birmingham clinic was bombed in 1998, killing an off-duty police officer.
Even before then, Derziz had taken to carrying a gun in her purse, following a string of attacks on clinics by abortion opponents.
Supporters of the legislation say they're not out to rid Mississippi of abortions, but simply want to ensure that doctors who conduct the procedures are able to send their patients to a local hospital for a follow-up.
"The governor has made it clear that he signed the legislation for the health and safety of women," Steve Aden, a consulting attorney to the state, told CNN. "So while he is pro-life, he also said that this is a health and safety provision. I don't see why that's hard to understand."
While seven other states require doctors at abortion clinics to have hospital privileges, they don't also require abortion providers be OB/GYNs, as Mississippi does, according to CNN.
Four other states also have only one abortion clinic.
While some Mississippi hospitals do sometimes provide abortions, they're few, and none is licensed as an abortion facility.
A spokeswoman for the Jackson clinic says it performed 2,378 abortions in the year ending June 30, 2011.
Derziz's clinic will remain open as U.S. District Judge Daniel Jordan reviews newly drafted rules for the abortion law, and can decide whether to make an exception for the clinic.
If he decides not to extend his temporary order, the Jackson Women's Health Organization will have between 60 and 90 days to close, according to CNN.
Derziz says she doesn't buy the claim that lawmakers are trying to make abortions safer for women.
"I love that it's old white men making those statements," she said. "This is not about safety. This is about politics, and politics do not need to be in our uterus."
We're well aware it isn't about safety. It's about abortionists protecting their profits.