The Supreme Court could overrule its nearly 50-year precedent on abortion during the upcoming term in a case out of Mississippi where the state has asked the justices to uphold its ban on abortions after 15 weeks.
This case could be the most watched this year, especially after the Texas justices refused to block a Texas law banning abortions after a fetal beat is detected. This Texas law usually applies for six weeks.
” “The Texas case is a clear indication that this is not a problem that is going away,” stated Carrie Severino chief counsel for the Judicial Crisis Network.
” Trying to push the can down the road… would be continuing the throw this issue back to the court,” she said, adding that the justices must clarify their precedent on abortion. It makes sense to address this issue .”
for the sake of clarity on the constitutional issue.
In the Mississippi case, state officials argue that the state’s ban on abortions after 15 weeks is lawful under the Constitution and that the court’s ruling in the 1973 case of Roe v. Wade should be overturned because it’s outdated.
The court ruled in Roe V. Wade that women had a right up to viability to have an abortion. This ruling was later confirmed in Planned Parenthood, v. Casey 1992.
Mississippi, though, said that the viability standard set out in Roe is unclear, and the state has an interest in banning abortions after 15 weeks to protect women’s health — and the health of the unborn child.
In its court filing, the state noted the risk to the mother increases after 15 weeks when undergoing an abortion.
“The risk of the mother’s death from abortion at 16 to 20 weeks’ gestation is 35 times more likely than at eight weeks, and the relative risk of mortality increases by 38% for each additional week at higher gestations,” the brief read.
The legal battle was initiated by Jackson Women’s Health Organization. This is the state’s only abortion center and a doctor who performs abortions. According to court papers, the clinic provides abortions up to 16 weeks gestation.
They challenged the state’s Gestational age Act, which was enacted in 2018. The law bans abortions after 15 weeks unless there was a medical emergency or severe abnormality within the fetus.
The abortion providers told the court in its filing that the state’s interest in the woman’s health and child doesn’t begin until viability, which is “months” after the 15-week marker set in the law.
“Viability refers to the stage of pregnancy at which ‘there’s a reasonable chance that the fetus will survive outside the womb with or without artificial supports.’ Jackson Women’s Health Organization stated in its court papers. “Before viability the State’s interest, however they may be, can’t override a pregnant individual’s liberty and autonomy over themselves
A federal district court sided in favor of the abortion clinic and issued an order preventing the law being applied. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed district court’s decision.
Mississippi officials brought the case before the Supreme Court. At least four of nine justices voted for the case. In May, the court stated that it would revisit the matter upon its return from summer recess. The next term starts in October.
A specific date for oral argument has not been set, but a ruling will be made by June 2022..
In its opinion, the High Court will decide whether elective abortions before a foetus are viable — such as Mississippi’s law —. The Supreme Court will also rule on the constitutionality of the bans and allow states to establish their own abortion laws.
Several other states have passed more stringent laws to reduce abortion.
North Dakota aimed to limit abortion after six weeks, and Arkansas moved to ban abortion after 12 weeks. Both states had their bans rejected by federal courts in 2015.. In recent years, the high court refused to hear these cases.
Texas recently passed a law that prohibits abortion after a fetal beat is detected. This usually takes place around six weeks. Private citizens, not the state, can sue abortion providers who violate the law under the new law.
The high court refused to stop its enforcement which began September 1.
Texas providers of abortion — and the Justice Department — have criticized this legislation, arguing that it is not unconditional.
Legal specialists said that the Mississippi case ruling could influence whether or not they will reconsider Texas’s legislation.
CurtLevey, the president of the Committee for Justice said that he would be shocked if the Texas law was declared constitutional by the justices, but that could allow them to side with Mississippi regarding its abortion ban.
” In a sense, Texas law is useful because the court can now say it is being moderate if the Mississippi law is upheld and the Texas law is down. It can also say it is compromising,” Mr. Levey stated.
A senior fellow at People for the American Way Elliot Mincberg said that the fact that the Texas Supreme Court did not block the Texas law regarding emergency requests from abortion providers was a “pretty troubling signal .”
“It strongly indicates that the court will eviscerate, if not overrule Roe and all viability tests,” he stated. It sends a disturbing message .”