The Courts & AbortionThe Courts & Abortion

The Supreme Court’s announcement that it will consider an abortion case from Mississippi next fall touched off a predictable outpouring of manic disapproval from pro-choice sources upset lest their cherished’ right’ to abortion be in jeopardy. No small-scale part of it was what might politely be called exaggeration or , not so politely, baloney.

As, for example, this nonsense from a Los Angeles Times editorial: “If the court makes states decide when a woman’s claims take a back seat to those of her fetus, that will all but obliterate Roe v. Wade.”

The obliteration of the Supreme Court’s decision legalizing abortion is unquestionably beneficial, but Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization isn’t going to do it. If special courts confirms the Mississippi law at issue now, it will simply be affirming the right of states to adopt moderate restrictions on the practice. Some will( or previously have ), others won’t. The culture combat will continue.

Even more fanciful was a claim by two constitution academy profs to whom the Washington Post sacrificed pride of place on its Op Ed page the day after the Supreme Court’s May 17 announcement. A ruling maintaining the country principle, they wrote, would represent the end of women’s “constitutional equality.”

That will indeed come as a surprise to the many highly intelligent, articulate women with leadership personas in the prolife movement.

To go take more seriously( because of its source) was the reaction from the White House, where press secretary Jen Psaki said President Biden remains “committed to codifying Roe”-enacting that notorious find as federal ordinance, something Biden said he’d do during the presidential campaign.

So what is the Mississippi law at the center of all this huffing and exhaling all been about?

Enacted by the state legislature in 2018, the Gestational Age Act censors all abortions after 15 weeks of maternity except in cases of medical emergency or serious fetal irregularity. A federal district court and the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals quoted Roe and other abortion suits in invalidating the statute.

The Supreme Court, concurring last-place month to hear Dobbs, said it would consider this single question: “Whether all pre-viability proscriptions on elective abortion are unconstitutional.” Viability–the moment at which an babe can live outside the womb–comes at about 24 weeks of pregnancy, although some children even younger than that have survived.

This truly is an important question, and a “no” answer by the Supreme Court–all pre-viability proscriptions are not definitely unconstitutional–would save numerous beings. But that would not compel other states to adopt such statutes, and the unhappy fact is that big-hearted, radical territories like California and New York would persist in their lax program considering killing the unborn.

The Supreme Court will hear Dobbs reasoned next October or November, with a decision likely in the late springtime or early summer of 2022.

Before then, we shall hear a great deal from the pro-abortion side about precedent. Where abortion is concerned, the critical precedents are two Supreme Court decisions–Roe v. Wade( 1973) and Planned Parenthood v. Casey( 1972 ).

As to Roe, even supporters of abortion like late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg have acknowledged that it was an exceptionally poor specimen of judgecraft–as well as an scandalous pattern of legislating from the bench. As to Casey, the research results there remained on an opinion by three justices–Kennedy, O’Connor, Souter–grounded in their airy reveries about the meaning of life.

Bad instances need ousting by good ones. Here’s hoping Dobbs achieves that.

Photo by Ian Hutchinson on Unsplash

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