The impact from overturning the federal right to abortion is still spreading across the country with legal battles unfolding in numerous states.
In Mississippi, abortion is illegal, although few people know the state's attorney general also paved the way for the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark decision.
"The power of prayer, for us, kept us going," said Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch.
The reason abortion rights went back to the states following the fall of Roe could be directly tied to one woman: Fitch. Her efforts to fight for life and women's rights go even deeper here in the Magnolia state.
As the attorney general was preparing for one of her most important cases, Fitch believes God played a central role in overturning America's abortion law.
"And when we got ready for oral argument (Dec. 1st) Oh, you could just feel this energy – the prayers were there," Fitch said. "We were very calm going in front of the justices. And the excitement outside in the rally with thousands of people: people were praying."
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Fitch and her office spearheaded Dobbs v Jackson Women's Health Organization – the case responsible for overturning the 1973 Roe v Wade ruling that legalized abortion nationwide. At the time JWHO was the state's last-standing abortion clinic, often called the pink house due to its iconic paint job.
"We made the argument and the justices agreed that this is such an important issue – that should always be returned to the people," said Fitch. "Now for the people to make all the choices, the decision. And they have the opportunity through their elected officials, through their governor. And if you don't like it, then you can certainly remove them from office."
Before her daily push for the people begins, the attorney general and her staff arm themselves with faith.
"I have many favorites, but Philippians 4:13 (comes to mind), 'I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me'," Fitch said. "This is a very Christian office, we pray together, that's how we open up activities in our office."
Fitch credits God and hard work for overturning Roe v Wade, followed by several trigger laws nationwide, including one in Mississippi which bans all abortions except to save the life of a woman, or in cases of rape or incest reported to law enforcement. The Pink House closed its doors less than a month later.
A fresh paint job covers the former abortion clinic's extensive history of abortion. The new owner plans to open a consignment shop with hopes it's a business the entire community can embrace.
The AG's priority for the fight for life is expanding as she's now working toward solutions that can empower women in a state suffering at the top of too many categories: infant mortality, premature births, and poverty.
"It's certainly tough, I completely understand," said Fitch. "Our role is, we are here to help them. That is what our challenge is. How do we empower these women who are struggling, what can we do as a state?"
With nearly 40 years of experience as a lawyer, Fitch is currently focused on protecting victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking.
"When I first ran for this office, I recognized we had an issue with human trafficking here in the state of Mississippi," Fitch explained. "In 18-months, we've rescued 187 individuals; including 15 children. We've made 16 arrests with 40 operations with our federal law enforcement officers."
Honored as one of Time Magazine's most 100 influential people, Mississippi's first female chief legal officer began her journey in the same office she now leads.
"I know God has placed me here for so many different reasons, but to come back as the attorney general where I once served as the special assistant to the AG, it's very special," Fitch explained.
As for what's ahead, Fitch says she remains steadfast in her duties as a female trailblazer, not just for Mississippi but the nation. Despite the hardships accompanied by being a single mother of three, Fitch shares her story to empower women to choose life while modeling what she believes is noble, excellent, and praiseworthy.
"We believe in the next steps, and as I talk about next steps for this new Dobbs era," said Fitch. "How do we empower those mothers and those children? What are we doing for the future – as we've really evaluated next steps, it involves everyone."
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