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Mississippi leaders to participate in pro-life events ahead of SCOTUS oral arguments defending 15-week abortion ban

Governor Reeves, U.S. Senator Hyde-Smith, state lawmakers among those who will speak at pro-life rallies over the next week.

Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch and her staff are preparing to defend the state’s 15-week abortion ban before the U.S. Supreme Court next week. The Court agreed earlier this year to hear Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization on December 1st.

Fitch is asking the court to recognize the right of the people to pass laws that protect life and women’s health while addressing legitimate interests of the State.

The Mississippi Legislature passed a 15-week abortion ban, HB 1510, in 2018. It was signed into law by former Governor Phil Bryant. The law was soon overturned by U.S. District Court Judge Carlton Reeves who ruled that the law was unconstitutional, saying that the “established medical consensus” recognizes a viable fetus closer to 23 or 24 weeks. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld his ruling when they blocked the law from taking effect.

Attorney General Fitch believes abortion rights should be left up to the individual states, and not a national decision.

“Not treating abortion as a fundamental right treats it as the Constitution does most important issues: for the people to decide,” wrote General Fitch. “When this Court returns this issue to the people, the people can debate, adapt, and find workable solutions. It will be hard for the people too, but under the Constitution the task is theirs—and the Court should return it to them now.”

The case is seen as a test for Roe v. Wade. If Mississippi’s law is allowed to stand and the Supreme Court rules in the state’s favor, the decades old ruling could fall, something pro-life advocates would welcome. However, Governor Tate Reeves sees the case in more practical terms. While he supports overturning Roe, the fundamental question as he sees it is whether the science as changed. He says it has.

“The question is not, are you going to overturn Roe v. Wade. The question is: The science has changed and therefore it makes sense for the court to review their decisions from the past, and this is a vehicle in which for them to do it,” Governor Reeves said.

Ahead of the December 1st oral arguments at the U.S. Supreme Court in D.C., at least two events are planned to rally support for the pro-life cause backing Mississippi’s position in the case.

The first one will be held in state and feature Governor Reeves and State Representative Ronnie Crudup, Jr.  They, along with other pro-life leaders, will participate in a national event at New Horizon Church in Jackson on Sunday, November 28. It is heralded as a “Pray Together for Life” event. The schedule says it will begin at 6:30 p.m., with doors opening at 6 p.m. A live stream of the event will begin online at 7 p.m. here.

Another event is planned for the morning of December 1st outside of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington D.C.. Attorney General Fitch announced the “Empower Women Promote Life” rally on Tuesday, sharing the names of three dozen women from diverse backgrounds, political parties, belief systems and professions who will share their unique stories of how promoting life empowers women. Fitch says the group includes Democratic and Republican lawmakers, physicians, progressive leaders, pregnancy help resource leaders from Mississippi, feminists, mothers of children with disabilities, legal scholars, civil rights leaders, atheists and religious leaders. Among the speakers will be Mississippi State Senator Jenifer Branning and U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith.

Fitch’s office says there will be a live stream for the D.C. event and they will share the link in the days ahead.