Mississippi could soon become the first state in the nation without a single abortion provider.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit is set to hear oral arguments next week regarding a 2012 law that would force the only remaining clinic in the state to close immediately.
The legislation is part of a recent wave of antiabortion regulations that have shuttered large numbers of providers in several states. However, the situation in Mississippi is arguably the most extreme, as the state has only one facility offering legal abortions.
The Mississippi law would require all physicians in health centers that perform more than 10 abortions a year to be certified in obstetrics and gynecology and have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.
The law was passed in April 2012 but is not currently being implemented while a challenge continues in the courts. A federal judge issued a preliminary injunction in 2013, saying the law was likely unconstitutional because it would close the lone remaining clinic. The state appealed the decision, sending the case to the 5th Circuit.