The Supreme Court recently announced that as part of an Order List that they will take up a case that could potentially overturn Roe v Wade.
The infamous case decided in 1972 provided that a women’s right to choose to have an abortion is constitutionally protected.
The case the Court decided to take up, Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health, presents the question “whether all pre-viability prohibitions on elective abortion are unconstitutional”. Besides Roe v Wade, this case also challenges the “undue burden” doctrine set forth in Planned Parenthood v Casey, another major abortion case.
The case surrounds a Mississippi law that prevents abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy and lower courts have decided that this prohibition is in direct violation of Roe which says any abortion before the normal viability stage of about 24 weeks is legal.
Mississippi argues that the use of viability is not a sound measurement to base legal decisions on and thus challenges Roe v Wade.
Notably, they do not challenge the right to privacy issue ruled on in Roe.
This case will surely be controversial, but even with the strong Conservative majority on the Court, it is not a sure victory for pro-life advocates. Chief Justice John Roberts has been a shakey voter with the Conservative bloc.
The Court will need a solid basis for overturning nearly half a century of legal precedent, and even then the Court could come short of overturning Roe or Casey.
This will be a case to watch, even though a decision is not set till around this time next year.
What are your thoughts? Should the Court overturn Roe and Casey? Let us know in the comments!