They claim they will be forced to turn away patients, risk legal penalties for violating state law.
Mississippi Center for Justice, has filed a lawsuit in Hinds County Chancery Clerk on behalf of Jackson Women’s Health Organization and Dr. Sacheen Carr-Ellis seeking an injunction against the state’s trigger law that would make abortion illegal except in the case of a formal charge of rape or for the preservation of the mother’s life.
Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the state’s lone abortion clinic, is the same group the U.S. Supreme Court decided against in last week’s 6-3 decision that upheld Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban and overturning the 50-year old Roe vs. Wade case that made abortion an industry in America.
Dr. Carr-Ellis is a physician who provides abortions at the clinic.
The SCOTUS ruling sent regulatory decisions regarding abortion back to states, allowing trigger laws to be enacted.
Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch certified the Supreme Court decision on Monday and published it, effectively complying with the 2007 trigger law and putting the abortion clinic on 10-day notice to comply.
The new lawsuit is challenging the trigger law as well as the state’s 6-week fetal heartbeat ban, saying the Mississippi Constitution protects a right to abortion.
“Because the Trigger Ban would have the effect of eliminating nearly all abortion access in Mississippi, and the 6-Week Ban would prohibit most abortions in Mississippi, the Bans violate the state constitutional right to abortion as protected under the Mississippi Constitution,” the new lawsuit claims.
The suit goes on to claim that enforcement of the Bans, individually or collectively, will cause imminent and irreparable harm to Mississippians, who have, for decades, relied on their ability to make decisions concerning their reproductive health and their ability to access safe and essential abortion care, in organizing their lives, relationships, and families.
Absent injunctive relief from the Court, the group says that they “will be forced to turn away patients seeking abortions or face the risk of substantial professional sanctions and criminal and civil penalties, including imprisonment for up to ten years for violating the Trigger Ban and the loss of licenses to practice medicine.”
Chief of Staff for Attorney General Fitch, Michelle Williams, told Y’all Politics late Monday afternoon that the office does not comment on pending litigation.
“But the Supreme Court was clear Friday and we will fight to sustain that victory for Mississippi,” she stated.
You can read the full lawsuit here.