The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear arguments in a major Mississippi abortion case that pushes the limits of abortion laws set by the landmark reproductive rights case, Roe v. Wade, which was cemented, could take back.
The case will be the first major abortion dispute in which all three people appointed by former President Donald Trump will be considered in the highest court, including his newest member, Justice Amy Coney Barrett.
The Supreme Court announced in an order that it would hear the dispute, Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization, 19-1392. The court will hear the case in its October term and a decision is expected to be reached in June 2022.
The case concerns a 2018 Mississippi abortion law that bans abortions after 15 weeks with limited exceptions. The law was blocked by the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals. Under the existing Supreme Court precedent, states cannot prohibit abortions that occur before the fetus is viable, typically about 22 weeks or later.
In this case, Mississippi is asking the judges to re-examine that viability standard. The state argued that the viability rule prevents states from adequately defending maternal health and potential life.
“It is long time the court reassessed the wisdom of the profitability rule,” wrote Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch in a brief report filed with the judges.
The Mississippi abortion clinic that challenged the law, the Jackson Women’s Health Organization, called on the Supreme Court not to take the case.
“In an uninterrupted series of decisions over the past fifty years, this court has ruled that the constitution guarantees everyone the right to choose whether to continue a pregnancy before viability,” wrote Hillary Schneller, an attorney who runs the clinic represents, in a file.
Schneller said Mississippi’s argument was based “on a misunderstanding of the core principle” of previous Supreme Court rulings.
She wrote, “While the state has interests throughout pregnancy.”[b]Prior to viability, state interests are not strong enough to support an abortion ban. “
Conservatives passed a number of bills that challenged Roe and were passed in 1973 in hopes of getting the court to reconsider its previous precedents. With the people appointed by Trump, the nation’s Supreme Court now has a Conservative majority of 6-3.
The struggle for abortion revitalized the confirmation hearings for Barrett, a devout Catholic who, after the death of the liberal judiciary, was the favorite anti-abortion group to seek the success of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
While Barrett has not made her exact legal views on abortion clear from the bank, the Democrats have taken up her earlier comments identifying aborted fetuses as “unborn victims” among other potential harbingers of their views.
The other two Trump nominees on the bench, Judges Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, voted last June to allow a restrictive abortion law to come into effect for Louisiana in the first major reproductive rights case before them. Chief Justice John Roberts, a Conservative, sided with the Liberals in the 5-4 decision that blocked the law.
President Joe Biden, who campaigned for the protection of abortion access, “advocates the codification of Roe,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told a briefing Monday. Psaki declined to comment specifically on the Mississippi case.
“The President and Vice President are committed to ensuring that every American has access to medical care, including reproductive health care, regardless of income, zip code, race, health insurance status or immigration status,” she said.
In a statement, Center for Reproductive Rights President Nancy Northup said: “Alarm bells are ringing loudly about the threat to reproductive rights.”
The Center for Reproductive Rights represented the abortion clinic alongside the Paul Weiss law firm and the Mississippi Center for Justice.
“The consequences of a Roe reversal would be devastating. Over 20 states would directly ban abortion. Eleven states – including Mississippi – currently have trigger bans on the books that would immediately ban abortion if Roe is overturned,” Northup said.
Diane Derzis, owner of the Jackson Women’s Health Organization, said in a statement, “As the only abortion clinic in Mississippi, we see patients who spent weeks saving the money to travel here and pay for childcare for shelter.” and everything else. “
“If this ban went into effect, we would be forced to turn many of these patients away and they would lose their right to abortion in that condition,” Derzis said.
Fitch, the Mississippi attorney general, said the state’s legislature “enacted this law in accordance with the will of its constituents to promote the health of women and preserve the dignity and sanctity of life.”
“I remain committed to advocating for women and defending Mississippi’s legal right to protect the unborn,” she said.
Anti-abortion groups welcomed the Supreme Court move. Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser said the court’s decision to hear the case was a “landmark opportunity,” referring to the enormous number of bills recently passed to improve access to abortion to restrict.
“Across the country, state lawmakers acting according to the will of the people have passed 536 pro-life bills aimed at humanizing our laws and challenging the radical status quo imposed by Roe,” she said.