The Supreme Court agreed on Monday to hear arguments in a major abortion case from Mississippi that seeks to bar abortions made after 15 weeks. Current Supreme Court ruling allows for abortions to be made around 22 weeks or later. The Mississippi case would challenge that standard.
Mississippi proposed the law in 2018 but was struck down by the federal judge. The same happened in 2019, when the case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, was taken to the Court of Appeals.
"States may regulate abortion procedures prior to viability so long as they do not impose an undue burden on the woman's right, but they may not ban abortions. The law at issue is a ban," 5th Circuit Judge Patrick Higginbotham argued.
BREAKING: The Supreme Court agrees to hear Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health, a challenge to Mississippi's 15-week abortion ban. This may well mark the beginning of the end of Roe v. Wade.https://t.co/8veGFZt1ht— Mark Joseph Stern (@mjs_DC) May 17, 2021
The state argues the currently viability rule prevents states from adequately defending maternal health and potential life, cnbc.com reports. The law would only grant exceptions to its 15-week ban in cases of severe fetal abnormality or medical emergency.
The state's only abortion clinic argues the law violates Roe and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, an important 1992 decision that upheld a the rights established by Roe.
This will be the first case to be argued before the Supreme Court since Trump-appointed Republican Justice Amy Coney Barrett succeeded late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, thereby giving conservatives a 6-3 majority.
The Court is set to review the case after the start of term in October, 2021, and predicted to reach a ruling by June, 2022.
"This is a landmark opportunity for the Supreme Court to recognize the right of states to protect unborn children," says Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the pro-life organization Susan B. Anthony List. "It is time for the Supreme Court to catch up to scientific reality and the resulting consensus of the American people as expressed in elections and policy."
"It is well past time for the Court to revisit the wisdom of the viability bright-line rule," Mississippi attorney general Lynn Fitch agrees, referencing his statement in a brief filed with the justices.
Former Planned Parenthood director turned pro-life activist Abby Johnson says, "This is what we've been waiting on" and calls believers to prayer.
This is what we have been waiting on, guys. It's time to pray. https://t.co/a2EYSwLzyT— Abby Johnson (wife/mama) (@AbbyJohnson) May 17, 2021
Echoing the sentiments of many, founder of pro-life advocacy group LiveAction Lila Rose calls this case the "most important abortion related case in years."
THREAD: This is the most important abortion related case in years. We are long overdue for the SCOTUS to revisit Roe v. Wade & PP v. Casey—cases that have led to the death of over 60 million innocent children & led many women & men to lifelong regret. https://t.co/Th5xK8Wjfk— Lila Rose (@LilaGraceRose) May 17, 2021
In her series of tweets, Rose references the "arbitrary line of viability" that develops as science and technology advance. She says it's time for the Supreme Court to "acknowledge what science has long revealed."
March for Life President Jeanne Mancini concurs, saying, "States should be allowed to craft laws that are in line with both public opinion on this issue as well as basic human compassion, instead of the extreme policy that Roe imposed."
White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters that President Biden is committed to codifying Roe regardless of how the Supreme Court rules in the case.
"Over the last four years, critical rights like the right to health care, the right to choose have been under withering and extreme attack, including through draconian state laws," she says. "The president and the vice president are devoted to ensuring that every American has access to health care, including reproductive health care, regardless of their income, zip code, race, health insurance status or immigration status."
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