A divided panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit today held unconstitutional House Bill 1390, a law enacted in 2012 that requires physicians who perform abortions in Mississippi to have admitting privileges at local hospitals. Physicians who perform other types of outpatient procedures in Mississippi have long been required to have such admitting privileges.
Governor Phil Bryant issues the following statement on the ruling:
"I am disappointed that two judges concluded that HB 1390 is unconstitutional. This measure is designed to protect the health and safety of women who undergo this potentially dangerous procedure, and physicians who provide abortions should be held to the same standards as physicians who perform other outpatient procedures.
"It is important to note that today's opinion was issued by a divided panel of judges and not by the entire Fifth Circuit and that this action is just another part of the legal process. I will continue working with the Attorney General as his office petitions the entire court to hear this case."
An excerpt from Judge Emilio M. Garza's dissent:
"The use of such an unprincipled approach [the majority opinion] to strike down as unconstitutional a state's exercise of its sovereign power to protect its citizens is particularly troubling."
The dissent also went on to say, " the majority's maneuvers are not legal, but political."