The Supreme Court announced on Monday that it will hear Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a challenge to a Mississippi law that prohibits nearly all abortions after the 15th week of pregnancy.
While pro-life groups praise the move, leftists and members of the press are outraged, fearful that Roe v. Wade is at risk of being overturned and spread the news as an attack on “reproductive freedom.”
This is the first abortion case before the Supreme Court since Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation last October.
“With Barrett on the Court, the four dissenters in June Medical no longer need Roberts’s vote to make significant incursions on reproductive freedom,” writes Iam Millhiser for Vox. “And the legal issue in Dobbs is sufficiently distinct from the one in June Medical that Roberts is unlikely to vote with his liberal colleagues again on those grounds.”
The 2018 Mississippi law prohibits all abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, “except in a medical emergency or in the case of a severe fetal abnormality.”
The Supreme Court has repeatedly affirmed, “a State may not prohibit any woman from making the ultimate decision to terminate her pregnancy before viability,” the argument at hand will be is viability is the issue, is a fetus viable at 15 weeks or if a state has the right to issue restrictions as they see fit.
The Vox writer continues: “The Court’s new majority, moreover, has already signaled that it is eager to roll back protections for abortion rights. Earlier this year, the Court handed down a decision permitting the Food and Drug Administration to impose limits on an abortion-inducing drug that it does not impose on any other medication.”
This is not an isolated theme.
The Center for Reproductive Rights tweeted: “BREAKING #SCOTUS granted Mississippi’s request to review our case that challenges the state’s law banning abortion after 15 weeks. This case presents a direct challenge to #RoevWade and violates 50 years of Supreme Court precedent.”
“Alarm bells are ringing loudly,” said Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights, which is representing Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the only clinic in Mississippi still performing abortions. “The consequences of a Roe reversal would be devastating.”
“It does seem to be an inflection point for the future of reproductive rights and certainly the future of Roe,” says NYU law professor Melissa Murray. Roe and the court’s subsequent abortion decisions “have all confirmed that states cannot prohibit abortion before [fetal] viability.” But the courts decision to revisit what has been a line in the judicial sand until now, she says, “puts Roe squarely in the crosshairs,” she says.
From NARAL President Ilyse Hogue: “Breaking: #SCOTUS to hear direct challenge to Roe v. Wade. Never forget that McConnell and others mocked us and gaslit us through the Kavanaugh fight for claiming that legal abortion was in jeopardy. They knew. They lied. We knew. We fought. And we’re so far from done fighting.”
Another tweet from Hogue: “Whether the Court rules in favor of MS or not, they’re normalizing narrowing the aperture, placing more people who need abortion further from service. They have always understood, sometimes better than people who support Roe, that a right without access is not a right at all.”
NPR describes the right-wing leaning justices as hostile.
“Bottom line: The court now has a 6-3 conservative super majority, with all six having taken positions hostile to abortion rights at one time or another, and the newest justice, Barrett, the most outspoken critic of abortion before joining the high court.”