Mississippi trigger law certified, Attorney General says

Mississippi's abortion "trigger law" was passed in 2007.
Mississippi's abortion "trigger law" was passed in 2007.(WLBT)
Published: Jun. 27, 2022 at 8:47 AM CDT|Updated: Jun. 27, 2022 at 8:52 AM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLOX) - Mississippi’s abortion trigger law, in response to the overturn of Roe v. Wade, has now been certified by Attorney General Lynn Fitch.

This means that in 10 days from Monday, June 27, all abortions in Mississippi will be illegal, except to save the life of the mother or in a confirmed case of rape. Clinics will not be available in the state; abortions will primarily be performed in hospital settings.

Under the trigger law, AG Fitch was required to publish her determination that the Supreme Court has overruled the decision of Roe v. Wade and 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,” AG Fitch said. “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 all of 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.”

Mississippi, one of 13 states with trigger laws, put its version on the books in 2007 with a bill authored by Senator Joey Fillingane. The law requires no decision making authority after the Supreme Court’s ruling, but is just a legality to ensure that Mississippi can certify and file the law even though Congress is not in session.

“What that means for Mississippians is the nearest clinic outside of Florida if you are over 15 weeks means that you will have to travel the closest clinic will be in Granite City, Illinois,” said Michelle Colon, Executive Director and Co-Founder of SHERo Mississippi. “That is a city or suburb on the other side of the line of St. Louis.”

Groups like SHERo Mississippi are working on organizing the resources necessary for reaching those out of state locations.

“The obstacle is, you know, having to travel seven hours from Jackson,” noted Colon. “That’s a seven hour drive from Jackson. If you are someone who lives on the coast, that’s a 10-hour drive. And that’s still unacceptable for Mississippians to have to, you know, drive anywhere over an hour to get medical care because abortion is essential medical, medical care, health care.”

Diane Derzis, owner of Jackson Women’s Health, Mississippi’s one abortion clinic, says that the clinic will be open until the law is placed into action.

“The law in Mississippi says we have 10 days to remain in business from the moment the Attorney General signs the certification,” Derzis said. “So that means that we will be open for the next 10 days, and we will be seeing patients for the next 10 days.”

The clinic has plans to move to New Mexico after abortions become illegal in Mississippi.

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