Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP)
Mississippi imposes extra restrictions on abortion providers, despite the fact that all health-care providers already must comply with a variety of federal and state regulations governing health, safety, building and fire codes, and zoning requirements.
Restrictions on Where Abortion Services May Be Provided
Among the most common TRAP regulations are those restricting the provision of abortion services to hospitals or other specialized facilities, which place medically unnecessary and costly requirements on doctors and can decrease the availability of abortion care for women. Mississippi has such regulations, including:
Providers of abortion services - including private physicians - must become licensed as an "abortion facility" and must comply with a uniquely imposed licensure scheme not required of other medical providers. Miss. Code Ann. § 41-75-1(e), (f) (Original Statute Enacted 1983; Relevant Provision Enacted 1991; Last Amended 2012), § 41-75-5 (Enacted 1983); Miss. Code R. §§ 15 301 044. The law exempts abortion facilities that provide fewer than 10 procedures per month and fewer than 100 per year, but it does not exempt any provider that "holds itself out to the public" (which includes a telephone-book listing) as an abortion provider. Miss. Code Ann. § 41-75-1(f) (Original Statute Enacted 1983; Relevant Provision Enacted 1991; Amended 1996); Miss. Code R. §§ 15 301 044.
Abortion facilities in Mississippi must comply with 35 pages of administrative, professional-qualification, patient and employee testing, and physical-plant requirements. Miss. Code Ann. § 41-75-29(2) (Enacted 1991); Miss. Code R. §15 301 044. Miss. Code R. §15 301 044.
Mississippi law requires any physician providing abortion care to have both admitting and staff privileges at a local hospital. H. 1390, 2012 Reg. Sess. (Miss. 2012) (Enacted 2012). Nothing in the law requires hospitals to grant providers such privileges. The law also requires that all physicians associated with the abortion facility be board certified or eligible in obstetrics and gynecology. § 41-75-1 (Enacted 2012).
A court held that the admitting-privileges requirement was valid, but temporarily prohibited the state from enforcing the civil or criminal penalties while the abortion facility attempted to comply with the law. Jackson Women's Health Organization, et al. v. Mary Currier, M.D., M.P.H., et al, No. 3:12cv436-DPJ-FKB, S.D. Miss. June 27, 2012). The state appealed, but a three-judge panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the temporary injunction. Jackson Women's Health Organization et. al. v. Mary Currier, M.D., M.P.H., et al, No. 13-60599, July 29, 2014. The full Fifth Circuit denied rehearing in the case, so the admitting-privileges requirement is not currently in effect. Jackson Women's Health Organization et. al. v. Mary Currier, M.D., M.P.H., et. al., No. 13-60599, Nov. 20, 2014.
The state licensing agency has authority to make inspections and investigations of clinics as it "deems necessary." Miss. Code Ann. § 41-75-17 (Enacted 1983). The statute does not address patient privacy or record confidentiality.
Mississippi requires abortion services after the first trimester be provided in an ambulatory surgical facility, a hospital, or in an abortion facility that has met the standards for an ambulatory surgical facility (a license as an ambulatory surgical facility is not required). Miss. Code Ann. § 41-75-1 (Original Statute Enacted 1983; Relevant Provision Enacted 1996; Amended 2006).
Mississippi also has an unconstitutional and unenforceable similar statute that requires that abortion services after the first trimester be provided in a licensed hospital or ambulatory surgical facility. Miss. Code Ann. § 41-75-1(e) (Original Statute Enacted 1983; Relevant Provision Enacted 1996; Last Amended 2006). Under this law, abortion facilities were not eligible to become licensed as ambulatory facilities, and no existing ambulatory surgical facilities in Mississippi provided abortion care. A court declared this law unconstitutional and permanently enjoined it. Jackson Women's Health Organization Inc. v. Amy, No. Civ.A. 3:04CV495LN (S.D. Miss. Jun. 14, 2005).
Restrictions on Who May Provide Abortion Services
Mississippi prohibits certain qualified health-care professionals from providing abortion services.
Only a practicing physician licensed by the state may provide abortion care. Miss. Code Ann. § 97-3-3 (Enacted 1952; Last Amended 1997). A court held that this physician-only requirement is valid. Spears v. Circuit Court, Ninth Jud. Dist., 517 F.2d 360 (5th Cir. 1975).