Mississippi lawsuit seeks to end court-imposed elective abortion

(The Center Square) – A lawsuit has been filed in Mississippi that seeks to end the state’s court-imposed, elective abortion policy.

The Mississippi Justice Institute, in a complaint for declaratory judgment filed in the Chancery Court of Hinds Couny’s 1st Judicial District, argues abortion remains a protected right under the state’s constitution. The U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Center decision this past summer.

“In the Dobbs case, Mississippi secured a major victory for human rights and the rule of law,” Aaron Rice, director of the institute, said in a release. “Now it’s time to finish the job and protect the right to life in the state that took down Roe.”

The institute, which is a nonprofit, constitutional litigation center that serves as the legal arm of the Mississippi Center for Public Policy, filed the suit on behalf of the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

The institute, according to the release, said that despite the Roe v. Wade being overturned an earlier Mississippi case, Pro-Choice Mississippi v. Fordice, that the state’s Supreme Court ruled that abortion was a protected right under the Mississippi Constitution.

On June 24, as previously reported by The Center Square, the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 in the Dobbs v. Jackson case that a constitutional right to abortion doesn’t exists and that each state is to determine how to handle the issue.

Mississippi, upon Roe v. Wade being overturned, placed a ban on elective abortions, according to the release, but the legal organization said elective abortions in the state “appear to be both statutorily illegal and constitutionally protected at the same time.”

According to the release, the legal institute said the uncertainty placed on physicians in the state puts them “in an impossible ‘Catch 22’” situation. The institute cites medical societies and board certification authorities have provided guidelines “suggesting that it is unethical, and potentially punishable by the government” to those physicians who oppose elective abortion and refuse medical care or refer patients for lawful abortion.