Abortion rights advocates vow to fight on after supreme court hearing

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In the wake of Wednesday’s Supreme Court hearing, in which most judges appeared set to significantly curtail abortion rights, reproductive rights advocates said they would continue to fight for the right to elect in state homes and in lower courts.

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The Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, widely regarded as the most important abortion rights case in nearly five decades.


The case before the court pits the Jackson Women’s Health Organization, Mississippi’s last abortion clinic, also known as “Pink House,” against the state’s director of health, Dr. Thomas Dobbs. A decision is expected in June 2022.

Conservative US Supreme Court signals support for banning abortion in decisive case

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Mississippi intends to ban abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy, a move blocked by the lower courts so far

While a significant blow to abortion rights is far from a foregone conclusion, questions from the Supreme Court’s conservative judges on Wednesday appeared to show a willingness to ban abortion at 15 weeks and perhaps earlier in pregnancy.

The case also urges the court to overturn Roe v Wade, the landmark 1973 Supreme Court ruling that established the constitutional right to abortion and is the only protection for such rights in dozens of conservative US states.

Under current law, pregnant people have the right to terminate a pregnancy as long as the fetus can survive outside the womb, which is widely considered to be 24 weeks gestation. A full-term pregnancy is considered to be 39 weeks gestation.

In a shared consensus across the political spectrum, at least five judges appeared divided on whether to significantly block or reverse Roe v Wade.

Six of the nine judges lean to the right, three of whom were nominated by Donald Trump during his one-term presidency.

“Congress can fix the issue right now,” said Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR), the organization that represents abortion providers in the Supreme Court on Wednesday.

Although abortion was legalized in 1973 and has been relied upon by women nationally since then, Congress has never ratified the right to abortion into law. This left the Roe v Wade precedent as the principle protection of termination options, while anti-abortion campaigners have brought many legal challenges and pushed laws that reduce access to the procedure.

“All of these restrictions and undue burden in abortion care will be addressed by the Women’s Health Protection Act,” Northup said, referring to a bill recently passed by the US House of Representatives. “This will ensure that women can access abortion without unnecessary restrictions.”

So far, the bill has been seen as highly likely to pass into law because it would need to do away with the Senate filibuster rule, requiring a 60-vote majority in an equally divided chamber, where Republicans would oppose it.

Joe Biden said on Wednesday, “I support Rowe Wade. I think it’s a logical position.”

CRR’s litigation director Julie Rickelman, who argued before the judges, said campaigners would keep fighting if the Supreme Court went against reproductive choice.

“We’ll continue to make every argument in the federal courts, we’ll continue to litigate in the state courts … we won’t stop fighting, because it’s so important,” Rikelman said.

Pink House director Shannon Brewer said the months ahead would be tough, with her providers “sitting and waiting and twiddling our thumbs” in anticipation of a decision.

“It was a difficult day for everyone” [but] I heard the arguments and I think they did a great job representing women today,” Brewer said.

After what was widely seen as a hearing favorable to anti-abortion forces, conservatives chimed in.

“What we want to see is that the court does the right thing and reverses Roe,” said US Chip Roy, a Republican. representative from texas, He cried out fears over a threat to the election as “grinding and weeping from the left”.

Sam Brownback, the former US ambassador at large for international religious freedom under Trump, said it was time to reverse the row “and let the states resolve the issue”.

Reversing Roe v Wade would effectively return the issue to be decided at the state level, where the South and Midwest regions would be.certain or probable“To ban most abortions.

Already, several states have banned abortions at six weeks, although all of those laws have been blocked by the courts, with the major exception of Texas.

Some reproductive rights advocates remained optimistic.

Shaunta James-Boyd, co-executive director of Trust Women, an organization dedicated to providing abortions in underserved states, said her group “watch out”.[s] Move on for a positive result later in 2022″.

Pressure to legislate the affirmative right to abortion in states that are not openly hostile is likely to escalate near the Supreme Court’s ruling. While 26 states are “certain or likely” to outlaw abortion if Roe v Wade were overturned, states such as New York and Illinois have acted to protect abortion rights.

Polls show that six out of 10 Americans believe abortion should be legal.all or most” Circumstances.

Meanwhile, House Speaker and California Democrat Nancy Pelosi said: “The House has passed our House-passed Women’s Health Protection Act, led by Congresswoman Judy Chu, to protect women’s health liberties and protect reproductive health care for all women. Committed to being incorporated into law throughout America.”

He said the Supreme Court has “an opportunity and responsibility to respect the Constitution, the law and this basic truth: every woman has a constitutional right to basic reproductive health care”.

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