UPDATED 12:08 PM PT – Wednesday, July 6, 2022
A trigger law on abortion has cleared its final hurdle in Mississippi. The Jackson Women’s Health Organization in lost yet another legal challenge to the state’s coming restrictions on abortion. On Tuesday, a judge struck down the abortion clinic’s attempt to temporarily block the law that would ban most abortions.
The court did give the clinic a chance to argue its case after it lost a landmark case in the Supreme Court that resulted in the ruling to overturn Roe v. Wade. The clinic lamented Mississippi’s move to ban abortions before six-months would harm women in the state.
“Fordice specifically noted that at the time the Mississippi Constitution was adopted, abortion was legal until quickening some four to five months in pregnancy,” said Rob McDuff, attorney for the Jackson Women’s Health Organization. “So the status quo that we see and that we ask you to maintain is the status quo that has existed in the state of Mississippi, except for a very small period of time. And that status quo is required to prevent the irreparable harm that would come from the enforcement of an unconstitutional law.”
Officials in the Magnolia State stressed the law was passed in 2007 and it was supported by members of both parties. Under the law, abortions would be illegal except in case of rape or incest, along with cases when giving birth would endanger the mother.
Providers who perform the procedure outside those specified circumstances could face up to 10-years in prison if they are caught. However, Jackson Women’s Health Organization decried the law while claiming the state is wielding its power to force residents to have babies against their will.
“But more importantly, the patients of the clinic, the women of Mississippi who do seek an abortion, who do make the decision that under the law only they can make, not the state, about whether they should carry a pregnancy to term and give birth, they will be forced to do those things against their will, many of them,” McDuff continued.
In the meantime, the law is expected to go into effect Thursday. Other southern states are trying to set their abortion restrictions in place with Florida’s 15-week-ban being blocked Tuesday and quickly reinstated. Additionally, Louisiana’s attorney general is trying to dissolve a block on the state’s abortion ban, which is currently being challenged in state courts. These states and others have vowed to establish strong laws that protect the sanctity of life.