Mississippi’s sole remaining abortion provider has appealed to the Supreme Court to uphold precedents set by the landmark case Roe v Wade, which protect a woman’s right to a safe abortion, and to reject restrictions on abortion sought by the state to undermine and ultimately overturn the ruling.
The abortion provider, Jackson Women’s Health Organization, urged the Supreme Court to reject the state of Mississippi’s push for a law that will block most abortions in the state after 15 weeks of pregnancy, as well as a decision that allows the state to regulate abortions before fetal viability at 23 to 24 weeks. The organization is the only remaining licensed abortion clinic in all of Mississippi.
The lone clinic warned that any move to undo the legal precedent guaranteeing abortion rights would not only completely upheaval these rights for women nationwide, but it would furthermore diminish the court’s credibility.
In 2018, Mississippi attempted to ban all abortions after 15 weeks. This was blocked by lower courts citing both Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey as the precedents. Mississippi has filed this decision with the Supreme Court, looking to overturn the lower court’s decision, and bring into law the 15-week abortion ban.
Anti-abortionists view this case as the most likely opportunity to strike down Roe and overturn the ruling. It would allow for states to individually decide when abortions are legal. Some states are seeking to greatly restrict abortions, and it would create a patchwork of laws across the nation, alike what existed before Roe.
The timing of the plea to block Mississippi’s push for the 15-week-ban comes alongside a new Texas law that came into effect after the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision to not block that law. The Texas ruling effectively bans the majority of abortions, now making it illegal to pursue an abortion after merely six weeks, in an obvious attempt to circumvent Roe, and in what Constitutional law experts have said is also an attempt to circumvent the Constitution.
Experts have said that Mississippi’s law is an open demand to overturn Roe. If the Supreme Court overturns the lower courts’ blocking of the law, and allows Mississippi to ban abortions at 15 weeks, states across the South and Midwest will likely look to make their own state limiations for abortion in order to eliminate access to safe abortions completely.