The Supreme Court will soon be hearing arguments in an abortion law case that many believe has the potential to upend precedent and significantly alter the status quo on the legality of abortions across the nation.
Given how consequential this case may be, dozens of pro-life organizations, states, and individuals have filed briefs related to the suit calling upon the Supreme Court to overturn its rulings made in cases like 1973’s Roe v. Wade and the subsequent Planned Parenthood v. Casey, as Breitbart reports.
In Roe, the judge seemed to discover the right to an abortion hidden within the text of the U.S. Constitution, and the 1992 Casey ruling upheld Roe by declaring that states couldn’t prohibit women from undergoing the procedure before their unborn child was considered viable outside the womb, which has generally been deemed to be around 24 weeks gestation.
A flood of briefs
According to the docket for the case in question, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, there have already been at least 88 “amicus curiae,” or “friend of the court,” briefs filed since the case was first picked up by the high court.
Of those, about 74 briefs were filed in just the past week alone, the overwhelming majority of which are in support of the pro-life side of the debate.
Some of those briefs came from explicitly anti-abortion organizations, while others came from Republican politicians and states, conservative and religious legal groups, and even health and medical care groups.
Though not all for the same reasons, virtually all put forth the same argument — namely, that times have changed since Roe and Casey were decided, that it is high time, based on new information and technologies, for SCOTUS to reconsider.
A question of viability
At issue in the Dobbs case is a 2018 Mississippi law that prohibits nearly all abortions after the 15th week of pregnancy, as SCOTUSblog reported in May.
It was challenged by the Jackson Women’s Health Organization — the only remaining abortion clinic in the state — and the new law was subsequently blocked by a federal district court. The decision was upheld by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals before the case made its way to the Supreme Court.
At the heart of the justices’ upcoming decision is a fundamental question that goes to the very premise of Roe and especially Casey: “Whether all pre-viability prohibitions on elective abortions are unconstitutional.”
The case also seeks to answer the questions of whether abortion laws should be judged under an “undue burden” standard or a broader balancing of benefits and burdens, as well as whether third parties like abortion providers have standing to represent the contrary interests of women that would be protected under the laws that said providers seek to invalidate.
To be sure, Democrats and abortion supporters are fired up to defend Roe and Casey at all costs, but as evidenced by the flood of pro-life amicus briefs in this case, those who defend the right to life for unborn children are equally motivated — if not more so — to seize upon this opportunity to undo what they view as an egregious error by the court decades ago.