Could a 1998 Mississippi Supreme Court ruling impact the future of abortions in the state?

MS Supreme Court abortion-related ruling
MS Supreme Court abortion-related ruling
Published: Jun. 30, 2022 at 9:11 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) -There is a chance that Mississippi’s abortion trigger law could be put on hold or even stopped. That’s what the Center for Reproductive Rights is seeking to have happen.

The lawsuit filed Monday shows that the STATE constitution includes the right to privacy, not specifically abortion, but says it’s covered under “the right to autonomous bodily integrity.” Because of that, the argument is that the trigger ban AND six week abortion ban shouldn’t take effect. We asked Mississippi College Law professor Matt Steffey what we should expect to see happen next.

“I think what we’ll see is this presents them with an opportunity to win this battle temporarily,” described Matt Steffey But I would not expect them to win the war, so to speak.”

The first stop will be the chancery court but we don’t know who the judge will be yet because all four Hinds County judges recused themselves. Still...

“While a court can overrule itself, a lower court can overrule a superior court, a trial court can’t overrule the Supreme Court, obviously,” said Steffey. “And so a chancery judge should, if we are following the law, as it exists today, enjoin the application of the trigger law, the six week law and the like from going into effect, unless and until the Supreme Court says otherwise.”

Bottom line, there’s a chance the state Supreme Court will end up revisiting this issue of right to privacy.

“Because the state decision relies so heavily on Roe and that line of cases which are now overruled...it is extremely likely that the state Supreme Court will follow suit and do so sooner rather than later.”

And the author of the trigger ban, Sen. Joey Fillingane says he feels confident that the law blocking most abortions will be upheld.

“They have waited to the very last minute, even after the decision was handed down in a last ditch attempt, which is pathetic in nature to try and stop unborn children from being saved in our state,” described Fillingane. “And we’re not going to sit idly by and let that happen. I know our Attorney General will defend this law and to the last degree and will be successful ultimately.”

Sen. Fillingane also noted that the state supreme court justices are all different than those who were on the court in 1998 when the ruling upholding the right to privacy was handed down. And he argues it’s a more conservative court now.

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