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NEWS DIGEST: BP & ERLC live event ‘Life and Liberty’; Mississippi judge rules against abortion clinic

Baptist Press to host ERLC live event on ‘Life and Liberty’

NASHVILLE (BP) – Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission acting president Brent Leatherwood will join SBC Executive Committee vice president for communications Jonathan Howe for “Life and Liberty: The Supreme Court and Southern Baptists,” an online event Wednesday, July 13, 2022, at 2:00 p.m. Eastern.

The recent watershed decision by the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade and rule in favor of Dobbs in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization has reenergized pro-life causes and provided the most consequential victory for the sanctity of human life in a generation.

Another decision, Kennedy v. Bremerton School District, reinforced the court’s recent pattern of rulings that safeguard both free exercise of religion and equal access to public benefits for faith-based organizations. Both cases, and several others, will be discussed during the 45-minute livestream event.

“This Court term will be remembered as one of the most consequential in American history because of the ways the justices furthered the causes of life and liberty,” Leatherwood said in a statement. “As our convention would expect, the ERLC was active in several prominent cases in those areas this year. I look forward to serving our churches by reviewing each of these important decisions during this event and keeping Southern Baptists informed about the ways we are carrying out our ministry assignment before our nation’s highest court.”

The discussion will be streamed online at the Baptist Press YouTube page as well as in the Acts2 app.

Judge rules against abortion clinic’s injunction request

By William Perkins/Mississippi Baptist Record

JACKSON, Miss. (BP) – A Mississippi judge denied a preliminary injunction June 5 that was requested by the state’s sole remaining abortion clinic to forestall the “trigger law” meant to make abortions illegal after the U.S. Supreme Court on June 24 overturned its 1973 decision that legalized abortions nationwide.

The eight-page ruling by Fourth District Chancery Judge Debbra K. Halford of Liberty, who heard the case after all four Hinds Chancery Court judges recused themselves, was handed down just hours after a 45-minute hearing on Tuesday morning.

Halford ruled that the Mississippi Supreme Court was the appropriate venue to argue the Jackson Women’s Health Organization position that a 1998 state Supreme Court case, Pro-Choice Mississippi v. Fordice, found a right to privacy in the Mississippi Constitution that includes abortion.

“SinceRoe andCasey are no longer the law of the land, reliance upon Fordice will almost certainly not be well-founded when pursuing this case in the Supreme Court. It is more than doubtful that the Mississippi Supreme Court will continue to uphold Fordice,” Halford’s ruling said.

Roe v. Wade is the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court case legalizing abortion nationwide that was overturned on June 24. Planned Parenthood v. Casey is a 1992 companion case to Roe. Kirk Fordice was governor of Mississippi at the time of the 1998 state Supreme Court case.

With the Halford ruling, Jackson Women’s Health Organization located on North State Street in Jackson was forced to close down. There has been no announcement on whether the clinic will appeal Halford’s decision.

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