Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch needs to stay out of residents’ private health records and stop in her effort to identify those who have obtained abortions across state lines, her Democratic opponent Greta Kemp Martin said at the Neshoba County Fair. The candidate’s hardline against the incumbent’s anti-abortion crusade earned her the support of a leading abortion rights group last week.
Planned Parenthood Southeast Advocates endorsed Kemp Martin in a statement on Aug. 10, citing her rejection of Fitch’s role in the 2022 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which resulted in the overturning of Roe v. Wade and the closure of Mississippi’s only abortion clinic.
“I have stood with Planned Parenthood and their mission to provide health care, particularly for underserved women, for years,” said Martin, the litigation for Disability Rights Mississippi, in an Aug. 10 press release. “Without their services, so many individuals and families in Mississippi would be without access to affordable, preventative healthcare.”
Fitch wrote a letter to the Biden administration in June asking U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra not to change a proposed rule that would ban states from accessing people’s health care information “for a criminal, civil, or administrative investigation into or proceeding against any person in connection with seeking, obtaining, providing, or facilitating reproductive health care … outside of the state where the investigation or proceeding is authorized” and “is lawful in the state where it is provided.”
The attorney general wrote that the rule has a “broad definition of reproductive health care,” which could conflict with state law that bans gender-affirming care for minors known as the REAP Act.
Fitch has not focused on the right tasks while in office, Martin said at the Neshoba County Fair on July 26, citing the attorney general’s efforts to “track Mississippians’ health records across state lines” and her fight “to rip away health care freedom and privacy.” She said elected officials should not have access to Mississippians’ private medical information.
“I’m a Mississippian that believes that people have enough sense to make their own health care decisions, whether I agree with them or not,” she said at the Neshoba County Fair. “And I believe that the government should stay the heck out of our medical records.”
The anti-abortion Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America’s Candidate Fund has supported Fitch since 2019, calling her a “pro-life hero” because she asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade in the 2021 Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case. Her work helped Mississippi establish a near-total abortion ban.
“Attorney General Lynn Fitch is a pro-life hero whose courageous leadership was instrumental in the historic Dobbs victory. We’re proud to have stood together every step of the way, and our work is not finished,” SBA Pro-Life America Vice President of Government Affairs Marilyn Musgrave said in a press release on June 1.
“In this new phase of the pro-life battle, General Fitch continues to blaze new trails to empower women and promote life—including spearheading initiatives to support more than two dozen pregnancy centers across Mississippi in providing hope and compassionate alternatives to abortion,” she said, referring to the controversial crisis pregnancy centers that are now receiving millions in state funding.
The attorney general said at the Neshoba County Fair that the “new Dobbs era” is “very exciting for Mississippi” but child care needs to be more accessible and affordable.
“We must fix our broken adoption and foster child systems for our children,” she added.
Fitch said she would “champion” a women’s bill of rights and a parents’ bill of rights. She did not share what these bills would contain.
Fitch formally became the Republican nominee and Martin the Democratic nominee following the Aug. 8 party primaries, though neither faced a challenger from their respective party. The two will face each other in the general election on Nov. 7.
“The country is watching Mississippi during this election cycle,” Martin said in the Aug. 10 statement with Planned Parenthood Southeast Advocates. “Between the millions of dollars of stolen TANF funds, our rural hospital crisis and the lack of Medicaid expansion, and our part in the Dobbs decision, our elected officials are failing Mississippians.”
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