Supreme Court signals it could restrict abortion in landmark Mississippi case


The Supreme Court on Monday heard arguments in its most important abortion case in decades, with leading conservative justices suggesting they could uphold Mississippi’s abortion ban after 15 weeks and strike down child rights. nationwide abortion, although not all suggested they would overturn Roe v. Wade entirely.


In Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, the court is considering whether all bans on abortions that take place before the fetus are viable—approximately 24 weeks after the start of pregnancy – are unconstitutional, as it has already ruled in Roe vs. Wade in 1973, then confirmed in Family planning c. Casey in 1992.

Mississippi has explicitly demand the court to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Chief Justice John Roberts suggested throughout the hearing that he was willing to get rid of the viability requirement, arguing that limiting abortion to less than 15 weeks after conception would be more in line with many other countries and suggesting that the viability requirement could be removed without the court reversing Roe v. Wade entirely.

Judge Amy Coney Barrett asked the Mississippi Solicitor General to clarify that the court could side with Mississippi without affecting other rulings made along the same lines, such as those legalizing same-sex marriage and control. births.

Barrett also asked Julie Rikelman, senior director of the Center for Reproductive Rights, which opposed the Mississippi law, why shelter laws which allow parents to renounce their young children do not adequately address the problems associated with the obligation to carry a pregnancy to term.

Judge Brett Kavanaugh expressed sympathy for Mississippi by asking Solicitor General Scott Stewart to clarify that the state does not want the court to ban abortion entirely or prevent states from passing their own laws that would allow the procedure, but rather to say that the Constitution is “neutral”. on abortion and that the matter should be left “to the people”.

crucial quote

“If you think of… the most important cases in the history of this court, there’s a series that overturned the precedent,” Kavanaugh said during oral argument on why the court might overturn Roe v. Wade or Casey v. Planned Parenthood. “If…we think that the previous precedents are gravely wrong, if that, why then does the history of the practice of this court, in relation to these cases, not tell us that the correct answer is to return to the position of neutrality.”

Chief Spokesperson

If the Supreme Court upholds the Mississippi ban, “will this institution survive the stench it creates in the public perception that the Constitution and its reading are merely political acts?” asked Judge Sonia Sotomayor during the hearing. “I don’t see how it’s possible. … If people really believe that everything is political, how will we survive, how will the court survive?

To monitor

The court’s decision in the case is unlikely to be released for several months, although it will be made public when the Supreme Court’s term ends in late June. If Roe v. Wade is cancelled, 12 states are set to immediately ban abortion through “trigger laws”. Pro-Abortion Rights Guttmacher Institute Remarks A total of 26 states are likely to eventually bar the proceedings in the absence of Roe v. Wade. Even if the court allowed the Mississippi law to stand but did not entirely strike down Roe v. Wade, the ruling would likely give other states license to pass similar laws that heavily restrict abortion. Thirteen other states have adopted measures that protect the right to abortion in the absence of Roe v. Wade, however, and rulings in eight states enshrined the right to abortion under state law.

Large number

63%. That’s the percentage of Americans who say they agree with the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade, according to a Quinnipiac survey conducted in November. Americans are largely in favor of right to abortionpolls show, although support for the procedure dips further into pregnancy.

Key Context

The Mississippi law, which bars all abortions after 15 weeks except for medical emergencies and “serious fetal abnormalities,” was passed in 2018 and was quickly struck down by lower courts in the Supreme Court. Agreed to hear the case in May. The Supreme Court’s standoff over abortion rights comes after anti-abortion state lawmakers enacted abortion restrictions for years in a bid to get the Supreme Court to revisit its precedent on the abortion, with the Guttmacher Institute reports more than 1,330 abortion restrictions have been enacted since Roe v. Wade in 1973. The Mississippi case attracted national attention because of its national implications, and 12 Republican governors filed a brief the court asking him to quash Roe v. Wade in the case so they can impose their own abortion restrictions.


The Supreme Court is currently hearing two other abortion cases involving Texas’ near-total abortion ban, which were brought by abortion providers and the Justice Department. The judges heard arguments on November 1 on whether to allow these cases to move forward in lower courts – and whether to issue an injunction that would block the law as they do – but has yet to rule on the either.

Further reading

What Americans Really Think About Abortion: Sometimes Surprising Poll Results as Supreme Court Weighs on Roe V. Wade’s Cancellation (Forbes)

Supreme Court to hear abortion case Dec. 1 that could overturn Roe V. Wade (Forbes)

New Supreme Court Case Could Threaten Roe V. Wade — Here Are the States Offering Abortion Protections If Overturned (Forbes)

12 GOP Governors Call on Supreme Court to Overrule Roe V. Wade and Let States Set Their Own Abortion Rules (Forbes)

Where access to abortion would decline if Roe v. Wade was canceled (New York Times)

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