U.S. Supreme Court

Mississippi asks Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade in pending challenge to abortion law

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Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade in a pending case challenging the state’s ban on most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

“Nothing in constitutional text, structure, history or tradition supports a right to abortion,” the state said in its Supreme Court brief filed Thursday.

The state asserts that Roe and a second case protecting the right to abortion, Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey, “are egregiously wrong.”

CNN called the case “the most important abortion-related dispute the court has heard in decades.”

States are increasingly restricting abortions, “emboldened by the conservative majority and the addition of Justice Amy Coney Barrett to the high court,” the article said.

Only three solidly liberal justices remain on the nine-member court.

Courthouse News Service, the New York Times, Reuters and the Washington Post also have coverage.

Mississippi’s law bans abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, except for medical emergencies or for severe fetal abnormalities.

The Planned Parenthood case prohibited states from placing an undue burden on the right to abortion before viability; 15 weeks is “months prior to viability,” according to a brief by plaintiffs challenging the law.

The news coverage differs on the point that a fetus can survive outside the womb—the articles put viability at about 22 to 24 weeks.

Fitch said Roe and Planned Parenthood are undercut by new developments.

“Scientific advances show that an unborn child has taken on the human form and features months before viability,” she said in the brief.

Fitch argued that the Supreme Court should return the debate on abortion policy to the states “where agreement is more common, compromise is often possible and disagreement can be resolved at the ballot box.”

The case is Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

The SCOTUSblog case page is here.

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