WTF Community

Day 316

1/ The Supreme Court appeared likely to uphold a Mississippi law that bans almost all abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. At issue is Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, a 2018 Mississippi law that banned abortions for women roughly two months earlier than current Supreme Court precedent allows. It is the most direct challenge to Roe v. Wade in nearly three decades. Lower courts have blocked the law, ruling that it violated the Supreme Court’s decisions in 1973’s Roe v. Wade, as well as 1992’s Planned Parenthood v. Casey. Those rulings held that women have a fundamental right to an abortion, states cannot ban abortion before the point of fetal viability — roughly between 22 and 24 weeks — and that laws restricting abortion should not pose an “undue burden.” Mississippi, however, appealed the decision to the Supreme Court and asked the justices to reverse all its prior abortion decisions outright and return the abortion question to the states. During arguments, the court’s six-member conservative majority appeared divided about whether to stop at 15 weeks or whether to overrule Roe entirely, allowing states to ban abortions. The court’s liberal justices, meanwhile, said overturning Roe would make the court appear political and that its reputation would be irreparably damaged if it cast aside decades of precedent because of new justices. “It is particularly important to show that what we do in overturning a case is grounded in principle and not social pressure,” Justice Stephen Breyer warned. Justice Sonia Sotomayor added: “Will this institution survive the stench that this creates in the public perception that the Constitution and its reading are just political acts? I don’t see how it’s possible.” Should 50 years of legal precedent be overturned, at least 20 states will immediately make almost all abortions unlawful: a dozen states have trigger laws that would automatically end most abortions and nine more have pre-Roe bans on the books. A decision is not expected until late June or early July. Last month, the justices heard arguments over a Texas law that bans abortion after about six weeks and allows enforcement by private citizens. The court has not yet issued a decision in the Texas case. (NBC News / NPR / New York Times / Washington Post / Wall Street Journal / CNN / CNBC / Bloomberg)

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

This topic was automatically closed 15 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.