Court hears arguments on Mississippi abortion law

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NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A federal appeals court in New Orleans heard arguments Monday on the constitutionality of a Mississippi law that requires doctors at abortion clinics to have admitting privileges at local hospitals.

The operators of the state's only abortion clinic say its doctors have been unable to obtain privileges and that the law would force The Jackson Women's Health Organization to close.

In March, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a Texas law that requires admitting privileges.

However, during Monday's arguments, members of a three-judge 5th Circuit panel noted that the law in Mississippi could force women seeking abortions to travel to other states. They said that raises the possibility of an unconstitutional burden on Mississippi women seeking abortions.

There was no indication when the judges would rule.

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