News

WASHINGTON, D.C. (LifeSiteNews) – Scores of committed pro-life gathered outside the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court Wednesday morning for the beginning of oral arguments in a case they hope could finally bring about the reversal of Roe v. Wade and the restoration of Americans’ right to vote on what their abortion laws should be.

Oral arguments begin today in 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 fifty states a “right” to pre-viability abortion.

Leading the defense of HB 1510 is Mississippi Solicitor General Scott Grant Stewart, a former clerk for Justice Clarence Thomas and ex-Trump Justice Department official, who will make the case that judicial precedent asserting a “right” to abortion is “egregiously wrong” with “no basis in text, structure, history, or tradition.” The lead counsel for striking down the pro-life law is Julie Rikelman, a former NBC attorney who is currently Litigation Director for the radically pro-abortion Center for Reproductive Rights.

Various pro-life public officials, scholars, and activists have filed amicus briefs urging the Supreme Court to directly overturn Roe and 1992’s Planned Parenthood v. Casey (which opened the door to some abortion regulations while reaffirming the “right” to abort itself), 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, a brief by eleven Republican governors, and a brief by Bishop Joseph Strickland along with several other Catholics and non-Catholics. (National Right to Life Committee filed one as well, though it argues the Court “need not” overturn Roe and asks merely that it remand the Mississippi law to the lower court for reconsideration).

On the other side, the suit is being fought by Jackson Women’s Health Organization (JWHO), the last abortion facility in Mississippi and an establishment with a record of regulatory noncompliance and safety issues going back more than a decade. It is supported by amicus briefs from various left-wing and pro-abortion groups, including the Biden administration, the Women’s National Basketball Players Association, the National Women’s Soccer League Players Association, Olympic medalist Megan Rapinoe, economists and researchers associated with the American Economic Association, National Bureau of Economic Research, and National Academies of Sciences; 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.

While abortion defenders are working to mobilize their supporters with fears of an abortion-free future, many pro-lifers are more circumspect. Dobbs is arguably the greatest test yet of the Supreme Court’s 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 against 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. During oral arguments for the Texas law last month, questioning by Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett appeared sympathetic to some of the abortion lobby’s legal claims.

LifeSiteNews is currently on the ground to fully cover the case, including livestreaming the oral arguments and reporting on events outside the Supreme Court building and throughout the nation’s capital. To read our past reporting on this crucially important case, and to stay up to date on developments as they occur Wednesday throughout the day, click here.

Comments

Commenting Guidelines

LifeSiteNews welcomes thoughtful, respectful comments that add useful information or insights. Demeaning, hostile or propagandistic comments, and streams not related to the storyline, will be removed.

LSN commenting is not for frequent personal blogging, on-going debates or theological or other disputes between commenters.

Multiple comments from one person under a story are discouraged (suggested maximum of three). Capitalized sentences or comments will be removed (Internet shouting).

LifeSiteNews gives priority to pro-life, pro-family commenters and reserves the right to edit or remove comments.

Comments under LifeSiteNews stories do not necessarily represent the views of LifeSiteNews.