Ruling triggers state abortion ban

Published 8:49 am Wednesday, June 29, 2022

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NATCHEZ — Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch on Monday morning published the required certification to Mississippi’s Administrative Bulletin, certifying the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

That notice set in motion Mississippi’s law to ban abortion.

The Supreme Court’s decision overturned the court’s 1973 ruling in Roe v. Wade and returned to the states the determination of legality of abortion.

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In 2017, the Mississippi Legislature passed a law that in essence reads if the Supreme Court ever overturned abortion on a federal level, the state of Mississippi would automatically outlaw abortion except in situations in which the life of the mother is at risk or which involve a rape that was duly reported to law enforcement authorities.

The 2017 law requires Fitch to certify the Supreme Court’s decision. The law requires abortions in the state, exceptions noted, to be illegal within 10 days of that certification, which means the outlaw of abortions in Mississippi will take effect Wednesday, July 6. 

“Mississippi’s laws to promote life are solid and thanks to the Court’s clear and strong opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, they can now go into effect,” Fitch said in a press release issued Monday. “As we have said throughout this case, Roe v. Wade presented a false choice between a woman’s future and her child’s life. As we proceed in this post-Roe world, the people of Mississippi and of all the states will be able to fully engage in the work of both empowering women and promoting life. I am grateful that the Court has given us this opportunity.” 

A similar series of trigger laws have been on the books in Louisiana since 2006. Those laws were thought to immediately banned both medical and surgical abortions in the state upon the Supreme Court ruling. 

However, a judge on Monday temporarily blocked that state’s trigger law until July 8 after a lawsuit was filed by the abortion clinics and advocates, saying the state’s trigger laws were “unconstitutionally vague.”

The judge in Orleans Parish civil district court issued a temporary restraining order barring the state from enforcing its ban.