Jackson abortion clinic files last minute lawsuit challenging trigger law
Monday morning, in accordance with the provisions governing Section 41-41-45 of the Mississippi Code, Attorney General Lynn Fitch published the required certification to Mississippi’s Administrative Bulletin for what is known as the State’s trigger law.
“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,” said Fitch. “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.”
Under Mississippi’s trigger law, Fitch is required to publish her determination (1) that the United States Supreme Court has overruled the decision of Roe v. Wade and (2) that it is reasonably probable that Mississippi’s trigger law would be upheld by the Court as constitutional.
“The Supreme Court very clearly held in Dobbs that the appropriate standard for courts to use for challenges to state abortion laws is rational-basis review,” continued Fitch. “And under that standard, Mississippi’s regulations for the protection of life would be upheld. We argued before the Court in December that it was time to end special rules for abortion cases, and we are pleased that the Court did just that, returning this important issue to the people to decide through the political process.”
Specifically, the Court stated the following:
“Under our precedents, rational-basis review is the appropriate standard for … challenges [to state abortion regulations]. … It follows that the States may regulate abortion for legitimate reasons, and when such regulations are challenged under the Constitution, courts cannot ‘substitute their social and economic beliefs for the judgment of legislative bodies.’ … A law regulating abortion, like other health and welfare laws, is entitled to a ‘strong presumption of validity.’ … It must be sustained if there is a rational basis on which the legislature could have thought that it would serve legitimate state interests. … These legitimate interests include respect for and preservation of prenatal life at all stages of development… ; the protection of maternal health and safety; the elimination of particularly gruesome or barbaric medical procedures; the preservation of the integrity of the medical profession; the mitigation of fetal pain; and the prevention of discrimination on the basis of race, sex, or disability.” (Pages 77-78 of the opinion of the Supreme Court)
UPDATE: Monday afternoon, Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the only abortion clinic in the state and the clinic at the center of the Supreme Court ruling striking down Roe v. Wade, filed a lawsuit in Hinds County Chancery Court challenging the legality of the trigger law. The lawsuit also challenges the state’s six-week fetal heartbeat ban. The lawsuit states the Mississippi Constitution protects the right to an abortion.
You can read the full lawsuit here.