Politics

Supreme Court Will Hear Direct Challenge To Roe In December

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Mary Margaret Olohan Social Issues Reporter
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The Supreme Court will hear a direct challenge to a highly divisive abortion case beginning Dec. 1, the court announced Monday.

Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization deals with a 2018 Mississippi law banning abortions after 15 weeks, a law challenged by the Center for Reproductive Rights, the law firm Paul Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, and the Mississippi Center for Justice on behalf of the last remaining abortion clinic in Mississippi — Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

After the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the law in December 2019, the state of Mississippi asked the Supreme Court to take up the case. (RELATED: SCOTUS Rules In Favor Of Abortion Advocates In Major Pro-Life Loss)

Dobbs will touch on the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling since the Supreme Court will hear arguments on whether abortion bans prior to fetal viability are constitutional, and the case will be one of the first major abortion cases in which all three of former President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court justice appointees participate, including Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who gained a seat on the court after a contentious confirmation process in October.

“We are looking forward to the opportunity to present our case directly to the Justices this December,” Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch said in a Monday statement. “The Court has acknowledged that states have the authority to promote legitimate interests, including protecting women’s health and defending life; but its abortion precedents have denied the people and their elected leaders the ability to fully do so.”

“In fact,” he continued, “the Roe decision shackles states to a view of facts that is decades old, such that while science, medicine, technology, and culture have all rapidly progressed since 1973, duly enacted laws on abortion are unable to keep up. With Dobbs, the Supreme Court can return decision-making about abortion policy to the elected leaders and allow the people to empower women and promote life.”

At issue is the question of whether all pre-viability bans on abortions are unconstitutional. (RELATED: Supreme Court Takes Up Major Abortion Case Directly Challenging Roe v. Wade)

An unborn baby is considered viable at 24 weeks, though medical intervention and a stay in the NICU are usually required this early. Babies born before 23 weeks have a survival rate of about 5% to 6%, and analysis by Charlotte Lozier Institute medical experts found that unborn babies can feel pain as early as 12 weeks.

“Science reveals the undeniable humanity of the unborn child. By 15 weeks, an unborn baby’s heart has beat nearly 16 million times,” Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser said in a statement. “She already shows a preference for her right or left hand, responds to taste, and can feel pain. They and their mothers deserve protection in the law.”

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