The Mississippi attorney general who is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade says her state's case will have a nationwide impact and that she hopes the justices return the issue of abortion to the states.
"It is a Mississippi case, but it will affect everyone across our country," Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch told the SuperTalk Mississippi radio network this week.
The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments on Dec. 1 in the case, which involves a Mississippi law that bans abortion after 15 weeks. The justices said they would limit the scope of the case to one question: Are all laws restricting pre-viability abortions unconstitutional?
Fitch is asking the high court to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that legalized abortion nationwide.
The Mississippi case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, could be the biggest abortion case since Roe itself.
"This is the first time in 50 years [that] there's been a discussion about Roe v Wade," Fitch said. "And so now we can actually have a very healthy dialogue on why that case and others should be overturned. ... For 50 years, you've had this blurry lines about when is viability? Who should really be in charge?
"And you've got so many different federal courts that have had a number of different decisions, again, making it a very blurry line for everyone involved. This allows us for the first time to go -- 'Wait a minute, [in] 50 years, things have changed.'... Certainly, our medical technology has changed. The science has been so important."
It is time, Fitch said, for the court to "return it back to the states."
"Every state should be able to make their own rules. We certainly have ours. You may see some other very liberal states have some ... different laws than we have.
"… We elect our legislators. They are our voice. Our governors are the voice. So they, in fact, are the ones that should be making the ultimate decisions on behalf of all of us in each respective state."
It is Mississippi's job, she added, to protect the "sanctity of life." But the state must also protect the women who have unplanned pregnancies, she said.
"[We must] look at it from a holistic perspective. We have to empower and take care of the women. We need to help them along the way – not only during their pregnancy, after their pregnancy, but be supportive for the women and the child."
She added, "We know we're doing the right thing [by] allowing it to come back to the states."
In a new social media video, Fitch says the Roe decision "hindered a healthy political dialogue about abortion."
In the Dobbs case, we’re defending the right of the people to engage in a healthy political discourse about how we as a society should care for women and their children. #EmpowerWomenPromoteLife pic.twitter.com/STLFeIb4A6— Lynn Fitch (@LynnFitchAG) October 13, 2021
The Mississippi law's findings note that the majority of abortion procedures performed after 15 weeks use a procedure (dilation and evacuation) that involves using instruments "to crush and tear the unborn child apart before removing the pieces of the dead child from the womb."
"The Legislature," the text says, "finds that the intentional commitment of such acts for nontherapeutic or elective reasons is a barbaric practice, dangerous for the maternal patient, and demeaning to the medical profession."
Photo courtesy: Getty Images/Zimmytws
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.