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Judge will not block Mississippi’s ‘trigger ban’ from going into effect on Thursday 

by | Jul 6, 2022

By Dave Andrusko

Chancellor Debbra Halford has rejected a request from Jackson Women’s Health Organization, Mississippi’s only abortion clinic, to block the state’s “trigger ban” on abortions from going into effect.

Lawyers for the abortion clinic argued that a 1998 decision by the Mississippi Supreme Court– Pro Choice Mississippi v. Fordice—“ruled the Mississippi Constitution contains a right to privacy that ‘includes an implied right to choose whether or not to have an abortion,’” according to the  AP’s  Rogelio Solis. 

But in light of the Supreme Court’s June 24th decision overruling Roe and Casey, Mississippi Solicitor General Scott Steward said, “There is no Roe or Casey anymore,” so “as a result, there is no Fordice.”

Judge Halford agreed with Stewart’s arguments. She wrote

that the previous justices of the Mississippi Supreme Court relied heavily on the U.S. Supreme Court’s opinions in Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which affirmed that a person had a constitutional right to obtain an abortion.

Since the nation’s highest court recently overturned those recent opinions and ruled a person no longer has a constitutional right to an abortion, Halford wrote that “it is more than doubtful that the Mississippi Supreme Court will continue to uphold Fordice.”

“Since Roe and Casey are no longer the law of the land, reliance upon Fordice will almost certainly not be well founded when pursuing this case at the (Mississippi) Supreme Court,” Halford wrote.

Now that “she’s declined to freeze the trigger ban, almost no abortions will be conducted in the Magnolia State when the law goes into effect Thursday, “Solis wrote.

A 2007 law “bans physicians from conducting abortions unless a mother’s life is at stake or when the pregnancy resulted from a rape that has been reported to law enforcement,” the AP reported. 

Judge Halford’s decision came only hours after attorneys for the clinic requested that she issue a temporary restraining order preventing the law from taking effect.

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