Friday, January 21, 2022

Abortion rights at risk in the Supreme Court’s historic case

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Supreme Court is at stake with abortion rights in a historic controversy over a landmark decision nearly 50 years ago that declared a nationwide right to terminate a pregnancy.

On Wednesday, judges will weigh whether Mississippi’s law prohibiting abortion after 15 weeks should be upheld and overturned the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.

Mississippi is also asking the court to overturn the 1992 Planned Parenthood v. Casey ruling, which Roe confirmed. The arguments will be heard live on the court’s website starting at 10 a.m. ET.

The case goes to a 6-3 conservative majority trial, which has been reformed by President Donald Trump’s three appointees, who have pledged to appoint judges who he says will oppose abortion rights.

The court never agreed to consider a case to ban abortion at such an early stage of pregnancy until all three of Trump’s appointees – Judges Neil Gorsuch, Brett Cavanaugh and Amy Connie Barrett – were in it.

A month ago, judges also heard arguments over a unique Texas law that circumvented Rowe and Casey’s decisions and banned abortion in the country’s second-largest state after about six weeks of pregnancy. The controversy surrounding Texas law revolves around whether the law can be challenged in federal court, not abortion rights.

Despite the unusually swift consideration of the matter, the court has yet to rule on Texas law, and the judges have refused to suspend the law while the case is pending.

The Mississippi case raises issues central to abortion rights. Some of Wednesday’s debate is likely to end on whether the court should abandon its long-standing rule that states cannot ban abortion until viability is reached, after about 24 weeks.

According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 90% of abortions are performed in the first 13 weeks of pregnancy, long before viability is achieved.

Mississippi argues that viability is an arbitrary standard that does not sufficiently reflect the government’s interest in regulating abortion. He also claims that scientific advances have allowed some babies born before 24 weeks to survive, although he does not claim the lineage is anywhere near 15 weeks.

Only about 100 female patients a year have abortions every 15 weeks at the Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a lonely abortion clinic in Mississippi. The institution does not have abortions after 16 weeks.

But the clinic argues that the court does not usually assess constitutional rights on the basis of how few people are affected, and that judges should not do so in this case.

The clinic, which the Biden administration has joined, also reports that since Rowe, the Supreme Court has consistently stated that “the constitution guarantees a woman’s” right to choose to terminate her pregnancy before she is viable. ”

Removing vitality as the boundary between when abortion may and may not be banned effectively overrides Rowe and Casey, even if the judges clearly don’t, the clinic says.

Judge Clarence Thomas is the only member of the court who has openly called for the overturn of Rowe and Casey’s decision. One question is how many of his conservative colleagues are willing to join him.

Among the questions that judges ask when they consider overturning a previous decision is not just whether it is wrong, but outrageous.

This is the wording that Kavanaugh used in a recent confinement, and Mississippi and many of her allies have given significant space in their court documents to prove that Rowe and Casey fit the description that they are flagrantly wrong.

“The conclusion that abortion is a constitutional right has no basis in text, structure, history or tradition,” says Mississippi.

In response, the clinic claims that the same arguments were examined and rejected by a court nearly 30 years ago in Casey. Since then, only the composition of the court has changed, the clinic and its allies say.

In its earlier orders, the court upheld the right to abortion in Section 14 of the Amendment, which states that states cannot “deprive a person of life, liberty or property without due process of law.”

The administration argues that same-sex marriage and other rights based on the same provision, but also not explicitly mentioned in the Constitution, could be at risk if Rowe and Casey fall. Mississippi and its supporters dispute that other decisions may be at stake.

Arguments about abortion usually lead people to camp for days in front of the court in hopes of taking over some of the few places available to the public. But with the courthouse closed due to COVID-19, there will be only a small audience of reporters, clerks of judges and a handful of lawyers in the courtroom.

A decision is expected by the end of June, just over four months before next year’s congressional elections, and could become a cohesive campaign slogan.

Nation World News Desk
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