Mississippi Judge Rejects Request to Block Abortion Law

State's only abortion clinic could have to close at the end of the day Wednesday
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 5, 2022 5:04 PM CDT
Judge Won't Block Mississippi Abortion Law
Anti-abortion activist Allen Siders, holds his Bible and calls out at people entering and leaving the Hinds County Chancery Court, a message against abortion and sin, Tuesday, July 5, 2022, in Jackson, Miss.   (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

As attorneys argued about abortion laws across the South on Tuesday, a Mississippi judge rejected a request by the state’s only abortion clinic to temporarily block a law that would ban most abortions. Without other developments in the clinic’s lawsuit, the clinic will close at the end of business Wednesday and the state law will take effect Thursday. Mississippi legislators passed the "trigger" law before the US Supreme Court recently overturned the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion nationwide. The clinic, Jackson Women's Health Organization, sought a temporary restraining order that would have allowed it to remain open while the lawsuit played out in court, the AP reports.

The clinic’s lawsuit cited a 1998 Mississippi Supreme Court ruling that said the state constitution invokes a right to privacy that "includes an implied right to choose whether or not to have an abortion." The state attorney general’s office said the Mississippi Constitution does not recognize a right to abortion and the state has a long history of restricting the procedure. The closely watched lawsuit was part of a flurry of activity nationwide since the Supreme Court ruling. Conservative states have moved to halt or limit abortions while others have sought to ensure abortion rights, all as some women try to obtain the medical procedure against the changing legal landscape.

  • Florida’s new 15-week abortion ban was blocked but then quickly reinstated Tuesday after an appeal from the state attorney general in a lawsuit challenging the restriction. Judge John C. Cooper issued the order temporarily halting the law after reproductive health providers argued that the state constitution guarantees a right to the procedure. The state quickly appealed his order, automatically putting the law back into effect.
  • In Louisiana, the state attorney general has asked the state Supreme Court to allow enforcement of a ban on most abortions. Louisiana’s anti-abortion statutes include so-called triggers that were designed to instantly take effect if the US Supreme Court were to reverse abortion rights. But a state judge in New Orleans last week blocked enforcement of the law pending a court hearing on a lawsuit filed by a north Louisiana abortion clinic and others.
(More abortion stories.)

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