The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) has agreed to hear Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a case involving a challenge to a Mississippi law prohibiting most abortions after the 15th week of pregnancy. The outcome, legal scholars say, could upend landmark decisions in Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion nationally, and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, in which the court ruled that the Constitution protects the right to abortion before a fetus becomes viable.
“This is the most important abortion-related case in years,” Live Action Founder and President Lila Rose posted on Facebook. “We are long overdue for the SCOTUS to revisit Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey—cases that have led to the death of over 60 million innocent children and led many women and men to lifelong regret.
“The Supreme Court must acknowledge what science has long revealed: that a unique and individual human life begins at the moment of fertilization,” she continued. “They must recognize that the arbitrary line of viability is an ever-changing goal post as science and technology advance, and a child’s ability to survive outside the womb should not determine his or her humanity or right to not be murdered in a violent abortion.
“Every child, including a baby ‘pre-viability’ should be protected from the horrors of abortion and the abortion industry. A 15-week-old baby has a face, fingernails, eyelashes, a heartbeat and brainwaves. The Supreme Court should grant equal protection under the law to all humans, even from the very beginning of every human’s life.”
The case centers on HB 1510, a Mississippi law passed in 2018 that changed state law from banning most abortions after 20 weeks’ gestation to 15 weeks’ gestation. Generally, fetal viability has been considered to be around 24 weeks, though modern medicine has helped thousands of babies survive even earlier births.
Any doctor who performed an abortion after 15 weeks for reasons other than severe fetal deformity or to save the life of the mother in a medical emergency could face up to 10 years in prison.
Soon after HB 1510 was signed, Mississippi’s lone abortion clinic, the Jackson Women’s Health Organization, filed a lawsuit against the state over the new law.
In granting the petition, the Supreme Court indicated it would only address one of the questions raised by Mississippi in its appeal: Are all prohibitions on elective abortions before the child is viable outside the womb unconstitutional?
“This is a landmark opportunity for the Supreme Court to recognize the right of states to protect unborn children from the horrors of painful late-term abortions,” said Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser. “Across the nation, state lawmakers acting on the will of the people have introduced 536 pro-life bills aimed at humanizing our laws and challenging the radical status quo imposed by Roe. It is time for the Supreme Court to catch up to scientific reality and the resulting consensus of the American people as expressed in elections and policy.”
The court is set to hear the Mississippi case during its next term, which will begin Oct. 4. It will be the first major abortion challenge heard by the justices since Amy Coney Barrett joined the high court.