Mississippi’s abortion ban is in full effect without the threat of a legal challenge now that the last abortion business in the state has dropped its lawsuit against the pro-life law.
Yesterday, Mississippi became officially abortion-free after the Jackson Women’s Health Organization announced its building has been sold and it closed down permanently. Today, JWHO dropped its legal challenge to the ban and — which has been in force since a judge denied its request for a temporary injunction.
Thanks to a state judge who denied a request from Mississippi’s last remaining abortion business to stay open, the new ban protecting babies is in effect and babies in the southern state can rest easier knowing the ban will be in place long-term.
Leading pro-life advocates celebrated the end of the lawsuit.
“If the clinic is not in a position to reopen in Mississippi, it no longer has a basis to pursue this case in the courts,” Rob McDuff, a Mississippi Center for Justice attorney who was among those representing the clinic in the lawsuit, said in a statement Tuesday.
Abortion biz owner Diane Derzis told The Associated Press Monday that the furniture and equipment from the abortion center has been put on a truck to New Mexico, where the abortion center will reopen to kill babies in the southwestern state where abortions are legal up to birth.
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“Our only choice was to go where we could make a difference,” said Derzis on a recent episode of Democracy Now!. “And the closest place that we found was Las Cruces.”
She said people contacted her about buying the building just minutes after the Supreme Court overturned Roe. The abortion seller added that she doesn’t think the new owners will turn it into a legitimate medical facility.
JWHO claims a 1998 Mississippi Supreme Court opinion, Pro Choice Mississippi v. Fordice, ruled the Mississippi Constitution contains a right to privacy that “includes an implied right to choose whether or not to have an abortion.”
But Halford noted that the judges in that case relied on Roe and Casey for their decision. Now that the Supreme Court has overturned both, neither of those cases are precedent on abortion.
“Since Roe and Casey are no longer the law of the land, reliance upon Fordice will almost certainly not be well founded when pursuing this case at the (Mississippi) Supreme Court,” Halford wrote.
JWHO will now close, babies will be saved, and women will find better alternatives.
Under Mississippi’s trigger law, Attorney General Lynn 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.
“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 Attorney General Lynn 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.”
“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 General 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.”
As LifeNews reported, the Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade, with a 6-3 majority ruling in the Dobbs case that “The Constitution does not confer a right to abortion” — allowing states to ban abortions and protect unborn babies. The high court also ruled 6-3 uphold the Mississippi 15-week abortion ban so states can further limit abortions and to get rid of the false viability standard.
Chief Justice John Roberts technically voted for the judgment but, in his concurring opinion, disagreed with the reasoning and said he wanted to keep abortions legal but with a new standard.
Texas and Oklahoma had banned abortions before Roe was overturned and Missouri became the first state after Roe to protect babies from abortions and South Dakota became the 2nd. Then Arkansas became the third state protecting babies from abortions and Kentucky became the 4th and Louisiana became the 5th and Ohio became the 6th and Utah became the 7th and Oklahoma became the 8th and Alabama became the 9th. This week, Mississippi became the 10th and South Carolina became the 11th,Texas became the 12th with its pre-Roe law and Tennessee became the 13th.
Michigan, Wisconsin and West Virginia have old pro-life laws on the books but there is question about whether they are applicable and will be enforced.
Ultimately, as many as 26 states could immediately or quickly ban abortions and protect babies from certain death for the first time in nearly 50 years.
The 13 total states with trigger laws that would effectively ban all or most abortions are: Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Wyoming.
“Abortion presents a profound moral question. The Constitution does not prohibit the citizens of each State from regulating or prohibiting abortion. Roe and Casey arrogated that authority. We now overrule those decisions and return that authority to the people and their elected representatives,” Alito wrote.
“Roe was egregiously wrong from the start. Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences,” Alito wrote. “And far from bringing about a national settlement of the abortion issue, Roe and Casey have enflamed debate and deepened division.”
This is a landmark day for the Pro-Life movement and our entire nation. After staining the moral fabric of our country for nearly 50 years, Roe v. Wade is no more.
Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Stephen Breyer authored a joint dissent condemning the decision as enabling states to enact “draconian” restrictions on women.
Polls show Americans are pro-life on abortion and a new national poll shows 75% of Americans essentially agree with the Supreme Court overturning Roe.