Who Is the Woman Behind the Case Challenging Roe v. Wade?

Photo: Rogelio V Solis/AP/Shutterstock/Rogelio V Solis/AP/Shutterstock

Lynn Fitch, Mississippi’s first female attorney general, is the face of the Supreme Court abortion case poised to overturn Roe v. Wade, which began with oral arguments on Wednesday. The case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, concerns a Mississippi ban on all abortions after 15 weeks — far before the viability threshold set in Roe, which protects the right to abortion until 23 or 24 weeks and longer in cases where the patient’s health is in question.

What should you know about the woman asking the Supreme Court to overturn Roe? Well, first of all, she’s arguing that she’s doing so in order to “empower women.”

In July, Fitch submitted an opening brief that laid out her core argument: Abortion was keeping women from reaching their full potential. “In the nearly 50 years since Roe, science and society have marched forward,” she wrote. She claims that policy advances now allow women to fully pursue motherhood and a career — a claim that is questionable at best given that the United States is the only rich country in the world without national paid family leave and, according to the New York Times, child care is unaffordable for more than half of American families (to name only a few examples).

Still, Fitch claims that if she can raise three children as a single mother after a divorce and still be successful, anyone can (yes, she had a nanny.) You may also be interested to know that she grew up spending weekends riding horses at a prominent plantation. The Lily reports that Fitch’s father inherited Galena Plantation, located in Holly Springs, Mississippi, and decided to move there “to raise his children in a simpler southern environment.” He also apparently took it upon himself to transport the original home of confederate general and the first grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan Nathan Bedford Forrest 40 miles to the plantation in order to “restore it to its original glory,” which may provide some more insight into what he meant by “simple southern environment.” The plantation was known mostly for its quail hunting and was a favorite of some notable people, like late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

In 2015, Fitch recalled her memories from “Fitch Farms,” describing it as “beautiful,” “wonderful,” and “peaceful.” “What Daddy has done to piece it all together has been incredible. It’s something that a lot of people don’t get a chance to enjoy,” she said.

Her father also happened to be the biggest donor to her first campaign as state treasurer in 2011. She served as the treasurer for eight years and led the Mississippi Women for Trump coalition in 2016. Then, in 2020, she was elected attorney general. While she didn’t talk much about abortion on the campaign trail, she certainly is now.

The Supreme Court currently has a 6-3 conservative majority, including multiple Trump appointees, and the possibility of Roe being overturned this June seems increasingly likely. Fitch has claimed that abortion bans will help women “have it all.” But overwhelming evidence shows that limiting abortion access has only negative consequences on people’s mental and physical health. The far more likely scenario is that if Roe is overturned, people with means, like Fitch, will still be able to access abortions. Its women without all her advantages — poor women, women of color, the undocumented — who will pay the highest price.

Who Is the Woman Behind the Case Challenging Roe v. Wade?