Mary Margaret Olohan
The Supreme Court will hear a direct challenge to a highly divisive abortion case beginning Dec. 1, the court announced Monday.
Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization deals with a 2018 Mississippi law banning abortions after 15 weeks, a law challenged by the Center for Reproductive Rights, the law firm Paul Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, and the Mississippi Center for Justice on behalf of the last remaining abortion clinic in Mississippi — Jackson Women’s Health Organization.
After the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the law in December 2019, the state of Mississippi asked the Supreme Court to take up the case.
Dobbs will touch on the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling since the Supreme Court will hear arguments on whether abortion bans prior to fetal viability are constitutional, and the case will be one of the first major abortion cases in which all three of former President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court justice appointees participate, including Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who gained a seat on the court after a contentious confirmation process in October.
At issue is the question of whether all pre-viability bans on abortions are unconstitutional.
“There are those who would like to believe that Roe v. Wade settled the issue of abortion once and for all,” Mississippi’s Attorney General Lynn Fitch said in a July statement regarding the case. “But all it did was establish a special-rules regime for abortion jurisprudence that has left these cases out of step with other Court decisions and neutral principles of law applied by the Court.”
An unborn baby is considered viable at 24 weeks, though medical intervention and a stay in the NICU are usually required this early. Babies born before 23 weeks have a survival rate of about 5% to 6%, and analysis by Charlotte Lozier Institute medical experts found that unborn babies can feel pain as early as 12 weeks.
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