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On 48th anniversary of Roe, Supreme Court will decide whether to hear case to overturn it

The case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, challenges the state law prohibiting the direct killing of preborn children after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
Thu Jan 21, 2021 - 10:08 am EST
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WASHINGTON, D.C., January 21, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – On January 22, the 48th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to decide whether it will take up a major abortion case out of Mississippi.

A ruling in favor of Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban, should the court decide to hear the case, would essentially mean overturning Roe, which imposed abortion on demand across the country in 1973.

The case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, challenges the state law prohibiting the direct killing of preborn children after 15 weeks of pregnancy. The state’s Gestational Age Act makes no exceptions for incidents of rape or incest after this period, but only for medical emergencies or cases in which there is “severe fetal abnormality.”

In 2018, less than 24 hours after it was signed into law, a federal judge struck down the law, and his ruling was upheld by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in 2019.

Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch requested the Supreme Court consider the case last June, and then in October filed a supplemental brief offering additional arguments based on references to a recent decision of the court regarding hospital admitting privileges in Louisiana.

“The petition asks the court to clarify its jurisprudence on abortion to allow states like ours to enact laws that further their legitimate interests in protecting maternal health, safeguarding unborn babies, and promoting respect for innocent and vulnerable life,” Fitch said in a June statement. “We are hopeful that the court will accept our case and allow Mississippi to defend innocent life as the legislature and the people of this great state intend.”

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The original June request asked “whether all pre-viability prohibitions on elective abortions are unconstitutional,” and whether these kinds of laws “should be analyzed under Casey’s ‘undue burden’ standard or Hellerstedt’s balancing of benefits and burdens.”

More importantly, the petition asks the Court to address the “contradictions” in its use of viability “as a bright line for measuring abortion legislation” since Roe v. Wade. “The viability line that Roe articulated was always, as Justice O’Connor recognized, on a collision course with itself for it failed to give full credence to the fact ‘that the State’s interest in protecting potential human life exists throughout the pregnancy,’” it says.

Consequently, if the Supreme Court decides to hear the petition, it will have the opportunity “to consider and decide whether Roe’s viability dicta should be validated or repudiated.”

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  abortion, dobbs v. jackson women’s health organization, roe v. wade, supreme court

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