JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) – Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch has until the end of the month to respond to a petition asking the High Court to block the state’s trigger law barring most abortions.
On July 8, Judge Jim Kitchens filed an order giving Fitch’s office until July 25 to respond to an appeal from the Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which was forced to close its doors earlier this week after bans of the State on the procedure have become official.
The ruling came as lawyers for JWHO urged the court to speed up the appeals process, saying the closure until July 25 would prevent women from accessing abortion care for at least two weeks. .
“The deprivation of constitutional rights and the harms of forced pregnancy and childbirth are significant and irreversible,” JWHO lawyers say. “In the absence of redress from this court, the harm will continue.”
JWHO had hoped to reopen the week of July 11 and asked the court to expedite its appeal of a lower court’s decision to refuse to prevent the trigger laws from taking effect.
After Kitchens issued its order on Friday, JWHO filed another motion again urging the High Court to act more quickly.
“The bans prohibit nearly all abortion care in this state and impose draconian criminal and civil penalties on petitioners who, but for the bans, would provide abortion care as they have for decades,” the attorneys wrote.
JHWO is represented by the Mississippi Center for Justice and the Center for Reproductive Rights.
Friday’s filings represent another round in the legal battle over abortion access in Magnolia State.
On July 5, a specially appointed chancellor denied a request by the Fondren-based abortion clinic to block the state’s trigger law and 6-week abortion ban from taking effect. , saying that any decision she makes will likely be appealed to the Supreme Court.
For its part, JWHO said abortions are guaranteed by the state constitution, based on a 1998 Mississippi Supreme Court ruling in Pro-Choice Mississippi vs. Fordice.
Chancellor Debbra Halford disagreed, saying the 1998 ruling was based on the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade, the landmark case that guaranteed abortions at the federal level.
However, in June, this court overturned deerclaiming that the proceedings were not protected by the US Constitution.
“Since deer and Casey are no longer the law of the land, recourse to fordice will almost certainly be without merit when pursuing this case in the Supreme Court,” she wrote.
She said JWHO is unlikely to prevail in her case and issue an injunction to block the trigger law as a result.
JWHO closed on Wednesday, the day before the state formalized a ban on most abortions.
The following day, July 7, the clinic’s lawyers filed an application with the High Court, asking it to block the triggering law until the case could be decided.
Want more WLBT news in your inbox? Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.
Copyright 2022 WLBT. All rights reserved.