DESOTO COUNTY, MS (abc24.com) - Mississippi could become the only state in the country without an abortion clinic.
The state tried to outlaw abortion last year and failed. Legislators then passed a law with new regulations that could force the state's only clinic to close, but it's not going down without a fight.
Jackson Women's Health Organization has until Sunday to comply with the new law. By then all of its doctors must be able to admit patients to a hospital. The clinic says it wasn't given enough time to do that and has filed a federal lawsuit asking a judge to block the law from taking effect.
"It's just Mississippi," says Jean Wenzler. "I live here. I love the state, but we're backwards in a lot of things."
Supporters of House Bill 1390 include Governor Phil Bryant. It takes affect July 1. Critics claim the law imposes unjust medical requirements.
Not surprisingly Mississippi women are split on the issue, but not short of opinions.
"I think they need an abortion clinic, it needs to be a personal choice what you want to do," Wenzler says.
"I'm a Christian so I'm against abortion anyway. I certainly don't believe we need an abortion clinic here," says Donna Medlin.
Jackson Women's Health Organization has had trouble obtaining necessary hospital privileges for its doctors. It claims the law is unconstitutional because it would ban abortion in the state.
Even though Medlin wants the clinic to close, she doesn't agree with the way it may happen. "I think we should have a stronger government policy to go ahead and outlaw it," she says. "We should have enough senators and politicians that stand up and do what they say they believe is right."
"That's a person's own choice," Wenzler says. "I don't think the clinic closing is going to cut down on teen pregnancy. That's just not going to happen."
If the law does go into effect Sunday, that doesn't mean the clinic will close immediately. The state health department would have to revoke its license first. A spokesperson says that would only be done after giving the clinic more time to meet the new requirements.