December 2, 2021


Abortion Before the Supreme Court


On Wednesday the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case which will decide if the Mississippi 15-week abortion ban will stand.  A ruling is expected by the end of June 2022 and, if in favor of Mississippi, would chip away significantly at the 1973 Roe v Wade decision.  Here are some of the quotes from Justices during the oral arguments:

Chief Justice John Roberts “I’d like to focus on the 15-week ban because that’s not a dramatic departure from viability.  It is the standard that the vast majority of other countries have.  When you get to the viability standard, we share that standard with the People’s Republic of China and North Korea.” 

Justice Elena Kagan, “not much has changed since Roe and Casey.”

Justice Sonia Sotomayor was determined to pin the entire argument for the Mississippi law on religion by asking Mississippi’s Solicitor General Scott Stewart, “How is your interest anything but a religious view?”  (Maybe she should read some of the recent scientific research on fetal pain and the fact that very tiny babies born prematurely now have a much better chance of surviving than in 1973.)

Justice Kavanaugh,  “. . .  why should this Court be the arbiter rather than Congress, the state legislatures, state supreme courts, the people being able to resolve this?  And there will be different answers in Mississippi and New York, different answers in Alabama than California . . . .”

Justice Amy Coney Barrett, “So it seems to me, seen in that light, both Roe and Casey emphasize the burdens of parenting, and insofar as you and many of your amici focus on the ways in which forced parenting, forced motherhood, would hinder women’s access to the workplace and to equal opportunities, it’s also focused on the consequences of parenting and the obligations of motherhood that flow from pregnancy. Why don’t the safe haven laws take care of that problem? It seems to me that it focuses the burden much more narrowly. There is, without question, an infringement on bodily autonomy, you know, which we have in other contexts like vaccine.”

The Biden Administration’s Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar joined the pro-abortion team in asking the US Supreme Court to rule against Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban.  Responding to questions from the Justices, the abortion side was forced to admit that some US Supreme Court rulings i.e. the 1896 ruling that upheld racial segregation laws were wrongly decided.  They also acknowledged they don’t want to settle on middle ground, but want to keep Roe’s viability standard and the Planned Parenthood vs. Casey undue burden standard. 

Action Steps

Pray for the Justices as they consider this case.  Outside pressure/threats are mounting, even from Democrat lawmakers, demanding that the Supreme Court uphold Roe and Casey and find the Mississippi law unconstitutional.  Their decision will not be handed down until late June 2022.  Remember only Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito have consistent conservative records over a long period of time.    Only Justice Thomas is on record against Roe.  There is much to pray about concerning this case!

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