Commentary

Roe v. Wade on the Table? SCOTUS Set to Hear Challenge to Mississippi Abortion Law

The U.S. Supreme Court will consider a Mississippi abortion case challenging the high court’s landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade opinion that legalized abortion.

In an order Monday, the court agreed to hear arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a lawsuit seeking to limit abortions by redefining the fetal viability standard.

The case centers around a 2018 Mississippi law — the Gestational Age Act — that bans abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy (with limited exceptions) on the grounds that the fetus could survive outside the womb by then and therefore aborting the baby is murder.

The law notes that the unborn baby’s vital organs begin to function at 10 weeks, and by week 12 he or she is a living human being who deserves protection from murder.

The Jackson Women’s Health Organization — the only abortion clinic in Mississippi — filed lawsuits claiming the Gestational Age Act was unconstitutional and infringed on women’s rights to get on-demand abortions at any point in their pregnancies.

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In 2018 and 2020, two lower Mississippi courts blocked the law, saying it conflicted with Supreme Court precedent outlined in Roe v. Wade, which defined fetal viability as beginning around 22 weeks, or five months into pregnancy.

In June 2020, Lynn Fitch — the pro-life Republican attorney general of Mississippi — asked the Supreme Court to reconsider its fetal viability standard, saying the rule doesn’t allow states to adequately protect unborn babies and maternal health.

“It is well past time for the Court to revisit the wisdom of the viability bright-line rule,” Fitch wrote in a brief asking the high court to hear her case.

Fitch said the Gestational Age Act reflects how Mississippi voters view the issue because it passed by overwhelming majorities in both chambers of the state’s GOP-led Legislature and was signed into law by the state’s Republican governor.

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The Legislature had “enacted this law consistent with the will of its constituents to promote women’s health and preserve the dignity and sanctity of life,” Fitch argued, according to CNBC.

Accordingly, she said, as Mississippi’s top law enforcement official, she has a duty to enforce the laws of her state and protect the unborn and advocate for women’s health (which she says is jeopardized by late-term abortions).



In response, the Jackson Women’s Health Organization asked the Supreme Court not to hear the case.

Essentially, the clinic argued that the court should stay out of the state abortion debate because doing so could potentially result in a reversal of Roe v. Wade.

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“In an unbroken line of decisions over the last fifty years, this Court has held that the Constitution guarantees each person the right to decide whether to continue a pre-viability pregnancy,” the abortion clinic’s attorney, Hillary Schneller, wrote in a filing, according to CNBC.

Schneller conceded that while the state has an interest in protecting the fetus throughout the pregnancy, this interest is not strong enough to block women’s rights to on-demand abortions.

Diane Derzis, the owner of Jackson Women’s Health Organization, said in a statement that “as the only abortion clinic left in Mississippi, we see patients who have spent weeks saving up the money to travel here and pay for childcare, for a place to stay, and everything else involved.”

She added: “If this ban were to take effect, we would be forced to turn many of those patients away, and they would lose their right to abortion in this state.”

Meanwhile, pro-life proponents urged the Supreme Court to wake up and consider the “scientific reality” that unborn babies are living human beings who deserve protection.

On Monday, Marjorie Dannenfelser, the president of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List, issued this statement:

“This is a landmark opportunity for the Supreme Court to recognize the right of states to protect unborn children from the horrors of painful late-term abortions. 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.”

Considering that today’s radical liberals trivialize women by referring to moms as “birthing people” and claiming that men can give birth, it’ll be comical to hear leftist attorneys argue why a 14-week-old baby is not a living human being.

The Supreme Court is expected to hear Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization this fall, and a ruling on the abortion case is expected by the summer of 2022.

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