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Waiting on SCOTUS to hand down ruling on Mississippi’s abortion case

Published: Jan. 17, 2022 at 7:46 PM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) -It’s been a month and a half since the United States Supreme Court justices heard oral arguments in Mississippi’s abortion ban case. Now, we’re hearing from Attorney General Lynn Fitch on the next steps.

“The Dobbs case, as we put in our brief and as we argued it last December, was all about empowering women and promoting life,” said Lynn Fitch.

Since we would ask more women to continue their pregnancies and deliver their child if the law changes, we asked Fitch if the state is doing enough to support them.

“I think you’re gonna see certainly in our state, but across the country, faith-based groups can be very involved, we’ve got a number of crisis pregnancy centers, there is a huge support network out there,” she noted.

This is where the conversation shifted to a topic that Fitch hopes the legislature will advance this year, especially in light of the Dobbs case.

“How do we lift these women out of poverty who had their children that we’re talking about?” asked Fitch. “We have to recognize that they deserve equal pay.”

Mississippi has a trigger law that would take effect within 10 days if Roe v. Wade were overturned. It does have two exceptions — when it’s necessary for the preservation of the mother’s life OR rape when a police report has been filed.

“We really haven’t had a very strong debate on that,” explained Fitch. “So far, it’s been academic, because again, this has been a great opportunity that our case in Mississippi was selected. And so prior to that, we’ve really not had that true dialogue about trigger law, the impact of what would happen in our respective legislature, and how that will be moving forward. But I think it’s very important; we just to this point didn’t really have that conversation about it.”

Planned Parenthood Southeast said this about the waiting period.

“We can’t afford to wait and see what happens when the Supreme Court rules on Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban later this year — the work to defend patients has to happen now,” the group said in a statement.

“For Planned Parenthood Southeast, that means holding lawmakers accountable for every attack on abortion access and mobilizing organizers and communities across our region to protect and expand our reproductive health and rights. We see what happens when people are stripped of their right to make their own medical decisions. Just look at Texas — the results are devastating. This is the most crucial moment for abortion access, sexual and reproductive health care, and our most essential personal rights.”

The expectation is that the Supreme Court likely won’t rule on this case till this summer. They could rule only on Mississippi’s 15-week ban or, more broadly, make a decision that could impact Roe v. Wade.

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