Whew! We don’t know how the rest of y’all feel, but for us here in Mississippi this felt like the longest summer. We don’t have to tell anyone reading this blog that the coerced resignation of Justice Kennedy in the middle of this sh*t storm of a presidency threw us for a bit of a loop. Like everyone else out there, we knew it could happen. But seeing the stark reality of pale-faced and pompous Kavanaugh sitting in front of the U.S. Senate has brought Mississippi’s pending reality into light.
Last week, The Daily Beast put into words what we have always known: Mississippi and the laws that our state legislature pass restricting abortion are “seen as a trial balloon for dismantling Roe v.Wade, the 1973 ruling protecting a right to abortion.” This past legislative session it was the “Gestational Age Act” banning abortions in our state past 15 weeks’ gestation. Lawyers for Jackson Women’s Health Organization managed to get a temporary restraining order barring the implementation of the law until a federal court rules on its constitutionality. Louisiana soon followed suit by passing their own 15 week ban, openly admitting they must wait to implement it until a ruling on Mississippi’s new law is handed down.
See, what happens in Mississippi affects THE ENTIRE COUNTRY.
We know most people don’t pay any attention to what goes on in our state. We know we are basically invisible, considered the radical fringe of America – our reality is so anathema to anything most American liberals could imagine living with that we are nothing more than a blip on their radar. But an article on Slate.com this week pointed out that lower-court judges are already feeling emboldened by the pending confirmation of Kavanaugh and the resulting radical right-wing shift of the highest court in the land.
On Monday morning, the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued an astonishing decision upholding a law that’s virtually identical to an anti-abortion measure the Supreme Court struck down in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt. The three-judge panel, composed entirely of Republican appointees (including a Trump judge), essentially defied the Supreme Court in allowing Missouri to saddle abortion clinics with pointless regulations designed to guarantee their closure. It’s a preview of how the courts will overturn Roe—swiftly, ruthlessly, and dishonestly—once Kavanaugh is confirmed.
What this all means is that activist judges in lower courts are waiting with bated breath to rule in favor of radical anti-abortion laws passed in states like Mississippi. These judges are ready to push the envelope all the way up to the Supreme Court on whatever non-scientific, junk-science, junk-morality, junk-we-just-want-to-protect-women, B.S. laws that come out of Mississippi’s next legislative session.
Mississippi should not…..CAN NOT be ignored right now. Like it or not, what happens here stands to affect the future of the people in this country for decades. We at The Pink House Fund envision a 2019 Mississippi legislative session riddled with protests and outcries from folks all across the nation. We envision busloads of supporters in waves, week after week, marching through the streets of Jackson, standing strong on the steps of the capitol with messages of unity and power. What if????? What if the country rallied en masse in the state where hope was forgotten and stopped this runaway train of radical anti-abortion legislation before it even started?
Because as Mississippi goes, so goes the nation.
Just something for us all to think about.