US appeals court blocks Mississippi abortion law

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JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi's governor and attorney general must decide whether to challenge a federal appeals court ruling that's keeping the state's only abortion clinic open.

A 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel voted 2-1 Tuesday to block a 2012 Mississippi law requiring abortion doctors to obtain admitting privileges at nearby hospitals.

When Republican Gov. Phil Bryant signed the law, he said he hoped it would end abortion in the state. In defending the law, state attorneys said women with unwanted pregnancies could always travel to other states. But the appellate judges ruled that every state must guarantee constitutional rights, including abortion.

Ten states have adopted similar laws, forcing a growing number of clinics to close. Many hospitals ignore or reject abortion doctors' applications, and won't grant privileges to out-of-state physicians.

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