Mississippi asks Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade – National & International News – FRI 23Jul2021

Mississippi's Attorney General is calling on the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade. Pictured above is the Pink House in Jackson, the state's last remaining abortion clinic.

Mississippi asks Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade. Missouri court rules state must expand Medicaid. EU states put restrictions on unvaccinated.



Mississippi asks Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade

On Thursday, Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch filed a brief to the US Supreme Court, calling the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision “egregiously wrong” and appealing to the nation’s highest court to overturn it. Fitch’s brief is part of the state’s efforts to appeal a lower court ruling that struck down Mississippi’s Gestational Age Act (GAA), which would ban most abortions after 15 weeks.

The state’s brief argues that “the conclusion that abortion is a constitutional right has no basis in text, structure, history, or tradition”. Furthermore, the brief states that by preventing states from imposing undue burdens on the right to abortion, the Supreme Court placed itself “at the center of a controversy that it can never resolve”.

By calling on the court to strike down the universal right to abortion nationwide, Mississippi’s AG has adopted a much more aggressive stance than was the case when the state first asked the court to hear the case a year ago. The change in strategy may indicates that the state feels emboldened by recent changes to the court, which now has a 6-3 conservative majority.

“Extreme and regressive strategy”

Nancy Northup, CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, is representing “The Pink House”, Mississippi’s only remaining abortion clinic. Northup first filed the challenge to the GAA on behalf of the Pink House, which resulted in the law being overturned.

In response to AG Fitch’s brief, Northup stated that “Today’s brief reveals the extreme and regressive strategy, not just of this law, but of the avalanche of abortion bans and restrictions that are being passed across the country”. She continued, “Their goal is for the Supreme Court to take away our right to control our own bodies and our own futures — not just in Mississippi, but everywhere”.

The court agreed to hear the case in May, and will likely do so in November or December of this year. A decision will follow in the first half of 2022.

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Missouri court rules state must expand Medicaid

The Missouri State Supreme Court has ruled that the state’s government must expand Medicaid coverage to an additional 275,000 low-income recipients. The ruling upheld the will of the state’s voters who supported an amendment to the state’s constitution on the ballot last August.

Missouri’s Republican-controlled legislature had thus far refused to honor the result of that ballot initiative by funding the expansion. Three women who are newly eligible then sued to force the state to fund the expansion. A lower court ruled that the expansion was unconstitutional because it would force the legislature to appropriate new funding, which would violate state law. Today’s ruling from the state’s highest court overturns that ruling.

Essentially, the state must move forward with new enrolment, even without additional funding. New recipients will be admitted to the pool of existing beneficiaries. The ruling leaves it up the state’s General Assembly to determine what to do when the current appropriation runs out.

One of the attorneys who represented the three female plaintiffs says the ruling “sends an important message” that the state will eventually have to respect the voters’ will and fully fund the expansion.

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EU states put restrictions on unvaccinated

Many Europeans are still resisting vaccination, even as COVID cases from the Delta variant are on the rise. In an effort to drive up vaccination rates, several EU countries are adopting mandates for some sectors of the workforce while placing movement restrictions on the unvaccinated.

Greece recently passed a mandate requiring all public and private sector healthcare workers to get the jab by September. France is adopting a “health certificate”, which citizens will need to access certain venues and establishments.

Starting August 5, Italians will have to present a “green pass” to access stadiums, museums, theatres, cinemas, exhibition centres, swimming pools and gyms. The green pass will be available to anyone who has had at least one dose of a COVID vaccine, or has proof of a negative test within the previous 48 hours.

Italy is also considering making a green pass mandatory for anyone traveling within the country by bus, train or plane in the near future.

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