Outgoing Democratic Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood shocked and dismayed Democrats in 2019 when he refused to endorse Democratic AG candidate Jennifer Riley Collins over Republican candidate Lynn Fitch. Hood allegedly withheld his support over the promise that Fitch would preserve the jobs of most of his AG staff in his absence.
Since his departure, however, the Mississippi Attorney General’s office has become a clearinghouse for religious policy, pushing the state closer to theocracy. Fitch embraced religious zealotry, most notably in her push to make abortion illegal. Her role in forcing Mississippi’s abortion restrictions onto the rest of the nation was pivotal in the Supreme Court's overturning of Roe v. Wade in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization.
Fitch, who is the state’s first female attorney general, enjoyed dressing her forced-birth campaign in deceitful Orwellian-speak, including “Empower Women: Promote Life,” and she continues to shovel falsehoods today by claiming to “empower” women in the post-Dobbs era.
Fitch embraces holy literature as tightly as any evangelist, and she gives thanks to God for helping her end legalized abortion for millions of women. On one Fox News radio show she declared “God put everybody in the right place at the right time,” and claimed her Solicitor General Scott Stewart, who argued Dobbs before SCOTUS, “clerked for Justice (Clarence) Thomas,” likely putting him in a position to work in accord with the judge to kill Roe. She went on to say the Dobbs case “certainly was a case chosen by God,” and that the AG’s office “could feel the uplifting … from the power of prayer.”
But now, Fitch wants the state of Mississippi to be able to peek into women’s medical information to prosecute out of state abortions.
In 2000, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) adopted “Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information,” known as the HIPAA Privacy Rule to address the use and disclosure of individuals’ health information by healthcare providers. Fitch and other forced-birther AGs in states like Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas and Georgia want access to your health info by withdrawing parts of this rule.
“The proposed rule would bar certain disclosures of (personal health information) to state or local agencies conducting a ‘criminal, civil, or administrative investigation or proceeding ... in connection with reproductive health care,’” Fitch argues. “The proposed rule would thus curtail the ability of state officials to obtain evidence of potential violations of state laws—even when requested under a court order or other type of legal process.”
Fitch’s office assured reporters that the purpose of this was to target doctors, not women, and that anti-abortion attorney generalS simply “might need to gather information” from out of state health care providers in building a case against a doctor who botched an abortion. This means if something goes wrong with the abortion, Fitch will surely pounce and try to prosecute. Her hope is that out-of-state doctors will then treat Mississippi women as a legal threat and screen them out of their patient pool.
While working to reduce pregnant women to baby-making wards of the state, Fitch is not above attacking Mississippi businesses that dare to acknowledge the existence of gay people. Fitch signed onto a July 5 letter addressed to Target CEO and Chairman Brian C. Cornell over his company’s Pride Campaign.
“During this campaign, Target wittingly marketed and sold LGBTQIA+ promotional products to families and young children as part of a comprehensive effort to promote gender and sexual identity among children,” the letter said. “This year, Target reportedly promoted and sold products in our states that included, among other products, LGBT-themed onesies, bibs, and overalls, t-shirts labeled ‘Girls Gays Theys.’”
Fitch is irritated that the chain sold merchandise featuring well-known drag performer Queen Katya, who she feels should be invisible to children, and she disapproves of a Target brand of girls’ swimwear adjusted to fit boys’ anatomy.
In addition, Fitch complained that the store chain provides financial support to GLSEN, which offers resources to trans and nonbinary youth suffering victimization from other students or members of their own family. Just to be clear, 83% of trans male students and 80% of trans females are victimized over their gender expression.
While Fitch is working to shove LGBTQ+ people back in the closet and attack women, critics say she is failing as an attorney general. Her suit against the nation of China over COVID is making no progress, and her agency has failed to release an annual accountability report every year since 2020.
Fitch also settled a mass of potentially profitable insurance cases related to Hurricane Katrina for a pittance, compared to her predecessor Jim Hood. Critics claim this is likely because Fitch “is a Republican,” and “probably cozier with the insurance companies than were her two predecessors.”
Fitch’s Democratic opponent, Greta Kemp Martin did not comment on Fitch’s relationship with corporate wrongdoers, but she did accuse Fitch of failing at most things that don’t involve thumping a Bible.
“Mississippi has other priorities at this time,” Martin told Black Girl Times. “It’s commonplace for my opponent to go after issues not directly affecting Mississippians and ignoring things happening right here in our state. For example, she’s been asked many times to address police violence in Rankin County, but she has neither issued a statement nor indicated that her office is looking into the matter.