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Mississippi Supreme Court rejects Jackson Women’s Health Organization’s request to be allowed to resume performing abortions

by | Jul 13, 2022

By Dave Andrusko

Following Chancery Judge Debbra Halford refusal to stop Mississippi’s ban on abortion from taking effect, a three-judge panel of the state Supreme Court yesterday rejected the petition of Mississippi’s lone abortion clinic to be allow to resume as soon as this week.

Rob McDuff, the lawyer for the Jackson Women’s Health Organization, “argued that the clinic should be allowed to continue providing abortions while it attempted to challenge the law itself in court,” Bobby Harrison reported.

“The Supreme Court justices have said that instead they will wait for arguments from Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch’s office to be submitted before ruling on the petition of the abortion supporters,” according to Mississippi Today. “The three-justice panel of James Kitchens, Dawn Beam and Kenneth Griffis has given Fitch’s office until July 25 to respond to a petition requesting that the Supreme Court rescind the abortion ban.”

The abortion ban “is in effect in Mississippi because of a trigger law passed in 2007 that went into effect if Roe v. Wade was overturned, Harrison continued. “Attorneys for the abortion clinic say the 1998 state Supreme Court ruling recognizing a Mississippi constitutional right to an abortion supersedes the trigger law and another Mississippi law banning abortions after six weeks.”

The 1998  Fordice decision held, “The state constitutional right to privacy includes an implied right to choose whether or not to have an abortion.”

But Judge Halford denied McDuff’s request, saying they had failed to meet the four requirement for injunctive relief. Those included a substantial likelihood they would prevail on the merits.

Judge Halford wrote “When considering Fordice, in light of Roe, Casey and Dobbs, it is more than doubtful that the Mississippi Supreme Court will continue to uphold Fordice,” according to Wicker Perlis, a reporter  for the Clarion Ledger.

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