Mississippi Asks: Supreme Court to OVERTURN Roe v. Wade

The U.S. Supreme Court should overturn its landmark 1973 ruling that legalized abortion nationwide and let states decide whether to regulate abortion before a fetus can survive outside the womb, the office of Mississippi’s Republican attorney general argued in papers filed Thursday with the high court.

‘Under the Constitution, may a State prohibit elective abortions before viability? Yes. Why? Because nothing in constitutional text, structure, history, or tradition supports a right to abortion,’ Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch and four of her attorneys wrote in the brief.

The arguments are a direct challenge to the central finding of the court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision and its 1992 decision in a Pennsylvania abortion case. 

Both rulings said states may not put an undue burden on abortion before viability. The Mississippi attorneys argue that the rulings are ‘egregiously wrong.’

A 6-3 conservative majority, with the three Trump nominees, said in May that the court would consider arguments over a Mississippi law that would ban abortion at 15 weeks. Justices are likely to hear the case this fall and could rule on it in the spring. 

The Mississippi case is the first big abortion-rights test in a Supreme Court reshaped with three conservative justices nominated by former President Donald Trump.

Nancy Northup is president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, which is defending Mississippi´s only abortion clinic in its challenge of the 15-week ban. 

She said Thursday that half of the states are poised to ban abortion altogether if Roe v. Wade is overturned.

‘Today´s brief reveals the extreme and regressive strategy, not just of this law, but of the avalanche of abortion bans and restrictions that are being passed across the country,’ Northup said in a statement. ‘Their goal is for the Supreme Court to take away our right to control our own bodies and our own futures – not just in Mississippi, but everywhere.’

Republican lawmakers in several states have been pushing laws designed to challenge Roe v. Wade, including bans on abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected, as early as six weeks.

A federal district judge on Tuesday blocked an Arkansas law that would ban most abortions, ruling that the law is ‘categorically unconstitutional’ because it would ban the procedure before the fetus is considered viable.

The Mississippi 15-week law was enacted in 2018, but was blocked after a federal court challenge. The state´s only abortion clinic, Jackson Women’s Health Organization, remains open and offers abortions up to 16 weeks of pregnancy. Clinic director Shannon Brewer has said about 10% of its abortions there are done after the 15th week.

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