Tuesday, July 5, 2022, 5:05 pm
News Flash Archive
This afternoon, Special Chancellor Debbra K. Halford entered her order DENYING the request for preliminary injunction to stop enforcement of Mississippi's laws prohibiting abortions in this state.
The state's only abortion clinic, and others, had asked the court to bar enforcement of two laws passed by the Mississippi legislature that ban practically all abortions in the state. These laws have been called the "Trigger Ban" and the "6 Week Ban."
The plaintiffs relied on a decision issued by the state Supreme Court in 1998, the "Fordice" decision, in which the court held that the State Constitution itself also protects the right to an abortion.
But Judge Halford ruled that, because the Fordice decision was itself based almost entirely on the logic of Roe v. Wade and the Casey decisions, and since those decisions have now been overturned, it is "more than doubtful that the Mississippi Supreme Court will continue to uphold Fordice."
The judge ruled that there does not exist a "substantial likelihood that the Plaintiffs will prevail on the merits," which would be required for her to issue a preliminary injunction barring enforcement of the laws.
Furthermore, the Judge held that there is substantial harm in barring enforcement of the anti-abortion statutes in Mississippi. She wrote that the State has "legitimate interests in restricting abortion" -- including "preservation of pre-natal life at all stages of development," "the elimination of particularly brutal or barbaric medical procedures," "the mitigation of fetal pain," and "preservation of the integrity of the medical profession."
"The real harm to the citizens of the state of Mississippi, current and future" that would result by issuing the requested preliminary injunction, outweighs any harm to the plaintiffs, the judge concluded.
It isn't known whether the plaintiffs can take an immediate appeal to the state Supreme Court, or whether a trial for the permanent injunction, which the plaintiffs also seek, will be held.
Based upon the language in the Judge's decision today, it seems very likely that the plaintiffs will ultimately lose at the Chancery Court level.
To see the full order by Judge Halford, click here: Order DENYING Motion for Preliminary Injunction
John Pittman Hey
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