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The clinic filed suit in June seeking to block the law, which was to take effect July 1. After briefly putting the law on hold, U.S. District Judge Daniel P. Jordan III allowed it to take effect in mid-July to see if the clinic could meet its requirements. Judge Jordan also blocked any civil or criminal penalties against the clinic and its employees while the clinic tries to comply with the law.

The clinic has said its physicians do almost all of the roughly 2,000 abortions that are performed in Mississippi each year. If Mississippi physicians perform 10 or fewer abortions a month, or 100 or fewer a year, they can avoid having their offices regulated as abortion facilities.

If the clinic in Jackson closes, the closest places for women to seek elective abortions are in Louisiana, Tennessee and Alabama — at least 175 miles from Jackson.

Mississippi women have the same constitutional rights as any other women in the United States — they deserve far better than to be forced to travel hundreds of miles to another state to get a safe, legal medical procedure,” Ms. Northup said.

Jackson Women's Health Organization, which is in the city’s Fondren neighborhood, about 2 miles north of the state Capitol, can perform abortions up to 16 weeks’ gestation; a full-term pregnancy lasts 40 weeks.

The clinic argued in court papers in August: “In the unlikely event that a patient experienced a serious complication that required hospitalization while at the Clinic, the Clinic would transfer her by ambulance to the nearest hospital.”

The closest hospital is the University of Mississippi Medical Center, which has said it does not grant admitting privileges to out-of-state physicians.

The clinic said its customary practice for a facility that accepts a patient in an emergency situation is to remain in contact with the physician who decided to transfer the patient, regardless of whether that physician has admitting privileges at the hospital.