A decision on whether the court will grant an injunction to halt Mississippi’s abortion ban could come soon.
UPDATE July 5, 3:00 p.m.:
The judge has denied the request for injunction by the Mississippi abortion clinic. This will prevent any set back for the trigger law that is set to go into effect this on Thursday, July 7.
“The Mississippi constitutional protection for abortion is based on judicial interpretation by the Fordice Court of SEction 32 of the Mississippi Consitution which fails to mention abortion, in significant reliance on Roe and Casey, neighter of which remain good law. This Court cannot find that enjoining enforcement of two properly enacted statutes in deference to a case whose consitutionality has come into sucha strong challenge is consistent with the public interest. Having so considered the pleadings, argument and relevant law, the Court declines to issue any preliminary injuctive relief in this case.”
IT IS, THEREFORE, ORDERED that Plaintiffs’ request for preliminary injuctive relief is DENIED.”
“We are disappointed with this failure to enforce the Mississippi Constitution,” the Mississippi Center for Justice said. “But we won’t stop fighting.”
We are disappointed with this failure to enforce the Mississippi Constitution.
We have an uphill battle ahead to secure and protect reproductive rights for the long haul.
— Mississippi Center for Justice (@justice4ms) July 5, 2022
You can read the full judgement below:
On Tuesday, Special Chancelor Debbra Halford heard from both parties in the Jackson Women’s Health Organization v. Dobbs case which was filed by the state of Mississippi’s only abortion clinic challenging the trigger law that outlaws abortion except in the case of a formal charge of rape or to preserve the life of the mother.
That trigger law is set to go into effect July 7th unless the Judge grants the abortion clinic its injunctive relief it is seeking in this lawsuit.
The suit was filed after the United States Supreme Court ruled in favor of Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban, ultimately overturning Roe v. Wade and putting abortion laws back into the hands of individual states. This meant that the Mississippi trigger law to ban abortion put the state’s Attorney General on the clock to certify and publish the overturning of Roe, which Lynn Fitch did.
RELATED: Latest abortion case filed by activists likely headed to Mississippi Supreme Court
The plaintiffs in the suit, represented by Robert McDuff with the Mississippi Center for Justice, have requested that the Judge uphold the 1998 Mississippi Supreme Court ruling in Pro-Choice Mississippi v. Fordice, arguing that there is an independent right to abortion and that women have the right to make their own decision in matters regarding pregnancy and childbirth.
At the time the court stated that, “[n]o right is held more sacred… than the right of every individual to the possession and control of his own person,” and “no aspect of life is more personal and private than those having to do with one’s [own] reproductive system.”
The ruling went on to state that “the state constitutional right to privacy includes an implied right to choose whether or not to have an abortion.”
McDuff asked that the Judge issue an order to prevent the trigger law from going into effect because it would violate that right.
“We simply ask that the court enforce that precedent, issue an order to reserve that status quo so that for the moment, while we litigate this case we remain in the same legal posture that Mississippi has been in, more or less, for nearly all of its existence,” said McDuff.
Plaintiffs are calling for the judge to uphold a 1998 ruling regarding Mississippi’s stance on abortion rights after SCOTS ruling on RoeVwade
More to come from @MSyallpolitics on the preliminary hearing.
— Yall Politics (@MSyallpolitics) July 5, 2022
Scott Stewart, Solicitor General with the Attorney General’s office, was representation for the defense, that being the state of Mississippi. He presented the position by covering three key concepts including framing observations, merits and the equities of the case.
Stewart’s main opposition to the plaintiff’s argument is that it is based on laws that no longer hold value in a court of law. He explained that within the last two weeks, the state of the law has changed dramatically and urged the court to address the complaint under the new guise of the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision.
“If this suit were filed a month ago, two weeks ago, things would be very different. The plaintiffs would have a much different claim. Thats because two weeks ago, there was a Roe versus Wade, there was a Planned Parent Hood versus Casey and there was a Pro-Choice versus Fordice. That’s no longer true,” said Stewart.
Stewart argued that those laws are now, in fact, irrelevant after the Dobbs decision, and should not be weighed upon in this latest decision to take up this suit or not.
The defenses response read:
“Without Roe and Casey, there is no Fordice. And the U.S. Supreme Court has now overruled Roe and Casey, discarded the undue-burden standard, and rejected those decisions’ reasoning as egregiously wrong. See Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, 597 U.S. —, No. 19-1392 (June 24, 2022). Fordice rests on a foundation that has been dismantled. It provides no basis for a state constitutional right to abortion.”
The defense also requested a dismissal of the case, which the Judge briefly addressed before adjourning. The plaintiffs opposed the request.
Special Chancelor Halford is expected to release her decision online through the Hinds County Court website. It is unclear when that decision will be made.
Counsel for the city of Jackson and Hinds County both requested and were granted release from the hearing proceedings.
Y’all Politics will update this article when the Judge hands down her decision in this matter.
*Contributions from Capitol Reporter, Anne Summerhays**
You can read the defense’s full response below: