Gov. Phil Bryant signed House Bill 1390 yesterday, requiring all physicians performing abortions in Mississippi to be board-certifiied obstetrician-gynecologists and to have admitting priviliges at an area hospital.
"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," Bryant said.
NARAL Pro-Choice America, an abortion rights groups, states that seven other states- Alabama, Arizona, Indiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Utah- currently require doctors who perform abortions to have hospital privileges, but no other state requires that an abortion provider be an OB/GYN.
Bryant issued the following statement upon signing the bill:
"I believe that all human life is precious, and as governor, I will work to ensure that the lives of the born and unborn are protected in Mississippi."
Diane Derzis is the owner of the Jackson Women's Health Organization, the only clinic that performs abortions in Mississippi. Derzis recently told the Associated Press that all three of the doctors working for the clinic are OB-GYNs, but only one has local hospital privileges. She added that the clinic will try to comply with the new regulations, but if it can't, she'll file a lawsuit.
Bryant said that he is not bothered by the idea that Derzis will sue.
"If it closes that clinic, then so be it."
In 2008, the last year for which data is available, 2,770 abortions were performed in Mississippi.