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Today the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear the challenge to Mississippi’s law which prohibits abortion after 15 weeks. In Dobbs, MS Health Officer, et al. v Jackson Women’s Health, et al., the High Court’s petition for a writ of certiorari is granted limited to Question 1 which is asking the Justices to reexamine the viability standard decided in Roe v. Wade 48 years ago, Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey in 1992, and Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstedt in 2016.
The Supreme Court wrote, “1. Whether the Fifth Circuit correctly concluded that a Mississippi statute banning abortion after 15 weeks—months before viability—is unconstitutional under nearly fifty years of precedent holding that it is unconstitutional to ban abortion before viability, including Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833 (1992), and Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, 136 S. Ct. 2292 (2016).”
The court will hear the case in its term beginning in October and a decision is likely to come by June of 2022.
The case concerns a Mississippi law enacted in 2018 that prohibits abortions after 15 weeks gestation, except in a medical emergency and in cases of severe fetal abnormality. The law prohibits a physician from performing an abortion without first determining the probable gestational age of the unborn child. The determination of probable gestational age should be made according to standard medical practices and techniques used in the community. A physician who violates this would have his or her medical license suspended or revoked.
The law was blocked by a federal judge shortly after its passage and the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld that decision last year, citing the precedent set by Roe v Wade. Under existing Supreme Court precedent, states may not ban abortions that occur prior to fetal viability, generally around 22 weeks or later.
Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said, “The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to hear this Mississippi case is a positive step toward finally overturning the tragic decision of Roe v. Wade made 48 years ago and subsequent abortion precedent. Abortion takes the life of an innocent human being and has enormous physical and psychological consequences on the mother. It’s time to stop committing human genocide in this nation, and Mississippi now can take the lead.”