Mississippi’s Last Abortion Clinic Still Struggling To Get Admitting Privileges

If they do not receive privileges by July 1st when the state's new law goes into effect, they will no longer be allowed to perform abortions.

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Jackson Women’s Health Organization has less than three weeks to obtain hospital admitting privileges before Mississippi’s new TRAP law goes into effect on July 1st, and the group says they are leaving “no stone unturned.” They have now applied at every hospital in the region, but have yet to receive a positive response from any of them.

Even worse, it’s a long and detailed process.

Via The Clarion-Ledger:

Admitting privileges at local hospitals may be difficult to obtain. Many religious-affiliated hospitals do not allow abortions to be performed at their facilities and some will not affiliate with doctors who perform abortions at other hospitals or clinics.But even public hospitals like the University of Mississippi Medical Center have strict guidelines.

At UMC, doctors must apply with the appropriate clinical department, where officials determine whether applicants meet basic qualifications, spokesman Tom Fortner said. Then, the executive committee of the medical staff and the dean of medicine must approve the application.

Additionally, since UMC operates with a closed medical staff, only faculty usually have admitting privileges. There must be a need to obtain an exception – known as affiliate faculty – and those physicians must practice exclusively at UMC. The only exception is Blair E. Batson Hospital for Children, as it is the only children’s hospital in the state.As at UMC, doctors seeking privileges at a hospital within Baptist Health Systems would need to demonstrate they’re qualified, certified and covered by insurance in Mississippi. Then, physicians would undergo a review process, requiring approval from the board of directors and other appropriate committees.

According to the clinic spokesperson, it could take up to three months to be credentialed, if approved, and the process didn’t begin until mid-May. Should they not have privileges by the deadline, they will likely to take the state to court.