Supreme Court appears likely to uphold Mississippi abortion law in major case

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The US Supreme Court is set to uphold a Mississippi law that bans abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

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Nine judges presided over nearly two hours of debate in a major case that could determine the fate of abortion access for millions of Americans, the biggest direct challenge to the landmark ruling. weed weed Which ensured the constitutional right to such medical care.

Conservative justices now hold a majority in the country’s High Court, with three appointments under President Donald Trump. The verdict in the case is expected by June 2022.


That likely outcome would contradict the 1973 decision Roe deer It established the constitutional right to abortion and prohibited states from banning the procedure prior to the viability of the fetus at around 23 weeks.

overturning Roe deer More than 20 states will immediately or immediately ban all abortions, forcing women to travel hundreds of miles to access abortions safely.

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Lower courts have repeatedly struck down the Mississippi law, but the Supreme Court decided to hear the case.

It is unclear whether the court’s six conservative judges will uphold or weaken the law going forward Roe deer solely by allowing states to impose their own restrictions at different stages of pregnancy.

In Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, Mississippi pressured the court to dismiss the 50-year-old precedent, as well as the precedent established in a separate case, Planned Parenthood vs Casey The case, which prevents states from placing an “undue burden” on abortion access.

Chief Justice John Roberts repeatedly questioned whether a “viability line” was necessary for the case, with Julie Rickelman of the Center for Reproductive Rights asking why 15 weeks — which is nine weeks before viability outside the womb — was “enough.” there’s no time”.

“If you think the issue is one of choice… feasibility, it seems to me, has nothing to do with choice,” he said. “If it’s really an issue about choice, why isn’t 15 weeks time enough?”

Justice Samuel Alito also asked several questions about feasibility, suggesting that the line is “arbitrary”.

“If a woman wants to be free from the burden of pregnancy, that interest doesn’t disappear the moment the viability line is crossed,” he said. “The embryo has an interest in living, and it does not change from the point before viability and after viability.”

In her opening remarks, libertarian justice Sonia Sotomayor told Mississippi Solicitor General Scott Stewart about the open politics of the abortion case before her that had been ratified by more than a dozen judges over 30 years. Roe deer And How, And Republicans took aim at state lawmakers who want to take away such rights because of the new conservative makeup in court.

“Now the sponsors of this bill … are saying, ‘We’re doing this because we have new judges on the Supreme Court.’ Will this institution escape the stench that it creates in people’s perception that the Constitution and its studies are mere political acts? ” He asked.

“If people believe that all this is political, how will we survive? How will the court survive?” he said.

He also asked that “a woman’s right and the right to put her at risk when it comes to calculus” when determining the law.

“Right now, women who are poor, and that’s 75 percent of the population, and Mississippi have a very high percentage of women who choose to have an abortion before viability — putting them at a much higher risk of medical complications,” he said.

She stressed that in Mississippi, at the center of the matter, “those risks are alarmingly high”.

“It is 75 times more dangerous than pre-viability abortion to give birth in Mississippi, and those risks are disproportionately endangering the lives of women of color,” she said.

She continued: “And now the state is saying to these women, ‘We can choose not only to complicate your existence physically… make you poor with your choices, because we believe.. .,’ What?”

Justice Amy Connie Barrett, who was most recently added and the third Trump appointee to join the court, questioned at several points whether “safe haven” laws — which allow parents to have infants without criminal prosecution — Allows to surrender – solves the “burden of parenting” in both. Roe deer And How,

In her interrogation of Julie Rickelman with the Center for Reproductive Rights, she said that while her filing “focuses on the ways in which forced parenting, forced motherhood hinders women’s access to the workplace and equal opportunities, it is the basis of parenting.” The focus is also on the outcomes. and the responsibilities of motherhood that emerge from pregnancy.”

“Why don’t safe haven laws take care of that problem?” he said.

Ms Rickelman said the idea was also possible that children could be put up for adoption. Roe deer,

Pregnancy “imposes unique physical demands and risks on women and” [impacts] His ability to take care of other children, other family members over his entire life and his ability to work,” she said.

US Solicitor General Elizabeth Preloger called the efforts to undermine access to abortion an “unprecedented revocation of rights”.

“Never has the court nullified a right that is so fundamental to so many Americans and central to their ability to participate fully and equitably in society,” she told the court.

Credit: / Supreme Court

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