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(LifeSiteNews) — Three amicus briefs filed with the U.S. Supreme Court in hopes of convincing it to uphold a Mississippi law banning abortion at eight weeks cast the legal power to execute preborn children as a positive good for women and society.
The Court announced in May that it would be hearing Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which concerns Mississippi’s HB 1510 law banning abortions from being committed past 15 weeks for any reason other than physical medical emergencies or severe fetal abnormalities. After its enactment in 2019, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals deemed it unconstitutional because of an “unbroken line dating to Roe v. Wade,” the 1973 ruling which imposed on all 50 states a “right” to pre-viability abortion.
Pro-lifers hope the case will result in the overturn of longstanding pro-abortion judicial precedent, and finally allow states and the elected branches of government to directly prohibit abortion. Oral arguments are slated to begin December 1.
Many groups on both sides of the debate have field legal briefs making a host of constitutional, policy, and societal arguments for or against current precedent and legal abortion. Three briefs in particular offer a striking window into pro-abortion mentality.
The first, filed by the Women’s National Basketball Players Association (WNBPA), the National Women’s Soccer League Players Association (NWSLPA), Athletes for Impact (AFI), and more than 500 female athletes (including Olympic medalist Megan Rapinoe), assert their “deeply-held belief that women’s athletics could not have reached its current level of participation and success without the constitutional rights recognized in” Roe and 1992’s Planned Parenthood v. Casey (which opened the door to some abortion regulations while reaffirming the “right” to abort).
Without legal abortion, they claim, “women’s participation in athletics would suffer, including because some women athletes would not be able to compete at the same level — or at all — without access to abortion care and without the knowledge that the decision whether to continue or end a pregnancy remains theirs.”
Notably, the brief argues that this means that “women and girls would be deprived of the multitude of collateral benefits that result from athletic participation, including greater educational success, career advancement, enhanced self-esteem, and improved health” — which is the same argument conservatives make against forcing women and girls to compete against biological males. Yet the WNBPA, NWSLPA, and AFI all identify as LGBT allies.
The second brief was filed by “154 distinguished economists and researchers” who “occupy prominent positions at preeminent universities and institutions and include officers and distinguished fellows of the American Economic Association, affiliates of the National Bureau of Economic Research, and members of the National Academies of Sciences.”
These academics purport to “assist” the Supreme Court in understanding that “abortion legalization and access in the United States has had — and continues to have — a significant effect on birth rates as well as broad downstream social and economic effects, including on women’s educational attainment and job opportunities.”
They credit abortion with declines in teen motherhood and marriage, and increases in female college enrollment and professional success. Notably, the brief cites as a positive the fact that “[f]or Black women, the estimated reduction in birth rate was two to three times greater than the reduction for white women,” and argue that contraception access — expansion of which abortion allies regularly claim will reduce the “need” for abortion, as a substitute for abortion bans — cannot fully replace abortion due to cost, imperfect effectiveness, and user error.
The third brief, filed by YWCA USA (originally the Young Women’s Christian Association), Girls Inc., the New Venture Fund’s Supermajority Education Fund, and Civic Nation’s United State of Women (USOW), claims that upholding Mississippi’s abortion law would make the current generation the “first in almost 50 years to come of age without this fundamental liberty right, thus turning back the clock for young women to a time of limited rights and opportunities that no young woman in America today has ever known nor should ever know.”
The supposed results, they claim, would include “limiting educational opportunity for young women, impeding the career and economic success of young women, and subjecting young women, particularly young women of color, to a healthcare system with a poor record with respect to maternal safety.”
Various pro-life public officials, scholars, and activists have filed amicus briefs of their own, making cases that nothing in the Constitution forces states to allow abortion, including briefs by the attorneys general of Mississippi and Missouri, a brief by Sens. Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, and Mike Lee, a separate brief by 228 other Congressional Republicans, and a brief by 11 Republican governors.
Many pro-lifers see this case as the greatest test yet of the current justices, a majority of whom were appointed by Republican presidents yet have still disappointed pro-lifers and conservatives on various occasions.
Only Justice Clarence Thomas is explicitly on the record as anti-Roe, and only he and Justice Samuel Alito have established consistently conservative records over a significant period of time. While those two combined with former President Donald Trump’s three appointees formed a majority willing to let Texas’s heartbeat-based abortion ban temporarily stand on procedural grounds, the latter have disappointed conservatives in other cases, so how they will rule on the substance of abortion law remains to be seen.