Judge refuses to block law banning most abortions in Mississippi, Florida's abortion law reinstated

Judge refuses to block law banning most abortions in Mississippi, Florida's abortion law reinstated
AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis

Mississippi is one of several states with trigger laws that go into effect once Roe v Wade was overturned. A lawsuit was filed by the state’s only abortion clinic after the Supreme Court ruling overturned Roe v Wade. The lawsuit asked for a temporary block to the state’s trigger law that would ban most abortions. On Tuesday, a Mississippi judge rejected the request. Barring further developments, the clinic, Jackson Women’s Health Organization, will close at the end of business today. The state law takes effect Thursday.


Mississippi’s law has been on the books since 2007. It has never been challenged in court. The law says abortion will be legal only if the pregnant woman’s life is in danger or if a pregnancy is caused by a rape reported to law enforcement. There is no exception for incest. A temporary restraining order would have allowed it to remain open while the lawsuit played out in court.

One of the clinic’s attorneys, Hillary Schneller of the Center for Reproductive Rights, said the judge should have blocked the law.

“People in Mississippi who need abortions right now are in a state of panic, trying to get into the clinic before it’s too late,” Schneller said. “No one should be forced to live in fear like that.”

The lawsuit was filed three days after the Supreme Court’s ruling was issued. The judge rejected the request for a temporary ban, claiming there is no mention of abortion in the Mississippi Constitution.

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.

“In the past two weeks, the state of the law has changed dramatically,” the state solicitor general, Scott Stewart, argued Tuesday in court.

In rejecting the clinic’s request Tuesday, Chancery Judge Debbra K. Halford wrote, “The plain wording of the Mississippi Constitution does not mention abortion.” She added that it is “more than doubtful” that the Mississippi Supreme Court would continue to uphold its 1998 ruling now that the U.S. Supreme Court has overturned its own previous abortion rulings.

McDuff told The Associated Press that clinic attorneys will review Halford’s decision and consider whether to appeal it to the state Supreme Court.


We can expect this type of action to continue in the near future as lawsuits are filed by abortion providers finding their businesses drying up due to state laws banning or restricting abortion after the Dobbs decision. The Supreme Court decided that abortion is a state issue, not a federal one, as it isn’t a constitutional right. That is how it was before 1973 when the Supreme Court made up a woman’s right to abortion.

Elsewhere, in Florida, a judge temporarily blocked the state’s 15 week ban on abortion but the law was reinstated on Tuesday. The state quickly appealed Judge Cooper’s order, automatically putting the law back into effect.

The Florida law makes exceptions if the procedure is necessary to save the pregnant woman’s life, prevent serious injury or if the fetus has a fatal abnormality. It does not allow for exemptions for pregnancies caused by rape, incest or human trafficking.

The law, which went into effect Friday, was passed by the GOP-controlled legislature and signed by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis this spring.

In Louisiana, a state with a pro-life Democrat governor, there is a question on clarity in the law.

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 U.S. 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.

The Louisiana suit says the law is unclear on when the ban takes effect and on medical exceptions. The attorney general’s application to the Supreme Court, filed over the holiday weekend and announced Tuesday, says the order blocking enforcement should be dissolved.

The north Louisiana clinic’s attorneys argued in a Tuesday afternoon brief that it’s premature for the high court to get the case before the district judge and an appellate court have had a chance to more fully consider the issues.


Get ready for the arguments about abortion rights for illegal aliens, too. Since the Supreme Court’s ruling, there has been a spike in calls to the hotline operated by the National Abortion Federation in Texas. Penelope DiAlberto, a regional case manager, said there has been a massive increase in calls coming in from concerned women afraid to seek abortions due to their illegal immigration status. For example, Joe Biden has committed to ensuring that women will be free to cross state lines to obtain an abortion. That’s not so easy for illegal aliens.

But women without legal immigration status are more likely to face difficulties crossing state lines to access abortions if the procedure is banned where they live, said Lupe Rodriguez, executive director of the New York-based advocacy organization the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice.

Several states with so-called “trigger” laws – such as Texas, Arizona and Florida – have large immigrant populations but do not allow people without legal status to get a driver’s license, according to a 2021 report by the National Immigration Law Center.

The U.S. Border Patrol maintains a network of some 110 checkpoints along U.S. roads, the majority of which are located 25 to 100 miles (40-160 km) inland of the country’s borders. Fear of being caught at an immigration checkpoint and possibly being deported makes it “virtually impossible” for many people living in the country illegally to travel across state lines, Rodriguez said.


I wonder how many American taxpayers are aware that the Biden administration has been flying or driving illegal alien minors from Texas shelters to other states for abortions. I’d guess not a whole lot.

Biden officials are exploring ways to provide abortion access for pregnant women and girls in U.S. immigration custody in states with bans, four U.S. officials who requested anonymity to discuss the government plans told Reuters.

Many federal shelters for unaccompanied children apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border are located in Texas, where a Republican-backed law that went into effect in September banned abortions at six weeks.

For the past nine months, U.S. health officials have been flying or driving minors from Texas shelters to other states for abortions. Advocates say more guidance is needed now, and fast.

“Time is really of the essence when someone needs access to abortion,” said Brigitte Amiri, deputy director at the American Civil Liberties Union’s reproductive freedom project.

Incredible. This lawless administration will stop at nothing to advance its leftist agenda, including taxpayer-funded abortions for minors apprehended at the southern border. Does DHS not recognize the Hyde Amendment?

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