The Supreme Court will soon consider the case of a blocked Mississippi law that would ban nearly all abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
The state’s attorney general has now asked the high court to go further than merely upholding Mississippi’s ban and actually overturn the precedent-setting 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that created a constitutional right for abortions in the first place, the Washington Examiner reported.
Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch (R) declared in a briefing that Roe v. Wade, as well as 1992’s Planned Parenthood v. Casey that reaffirmed Roe, were both “egregiously wrong” and “hopelessly unworkable” and should be revisited and overturned by the Supreme Court.
A question of viability and states’ rights
At issue is the question of viability for an unborn baby and “whether all pre-viability prohibitions on elective abortions are unconstitutional.”
In a brief filed with the court Thursday, Fitch argued, “Under the Constitution, may a State prohibit elective abortions before viability? Yes. Why? Because nothing in constitutional text, structure, history, or tradition supports a right to abortion.”
She proceeded to make the case that both Roe and Casey should be overruled because both decisions were “egregiously wrong,” and had created a situation among the states that was “hopelessly unworkable” in terms of constitutional guidance on what sort of abortion regulations were permissible or not.
Fitch also asserted that the decisions had “inflicted significant damage” by making the issue more controversial instead of settling things. “Roe and Casey are unprincipled decisions that have damaged the democratic process, poisoned our national discourse, plagued the law — and, in doing so, harmed this Court.”
Fitch doubles down
“There are those who would like to believe that Roe v. Wade settled the issue of abortion once and for all,” Fitch said in a statement accompanying the brief. “But all it did was establish a special-rules regime for abortion jurisprudence that has left these cases out of step with other Court decisions and neutral principles of law applied by the Court.”
“As a result, state legislatures, and the people they represent, have lacked clarity in passing laws to protect legitimate public interests, and artificial guideposts have stunted important public debate on how we, as a society, care for the dignity of women and their children,” she continued. “It is time for the Court to set this right and return this political debate to the political branches of government.”
What if Roe and Casey are overruled?
Of course, pro-abortion liberals are up in arms at the mere prospect of the Supreme Court considering whether or not to overrule Roe and Casey, with some implying that overturning those decisions would effectively make abortion illegal nationwide, which isn’t exactly the case.
Business Insider reported that, should those two cases be reversed by the Supreme Court, the issue of abortion would simply be devolved back to the separate states for each to decide on their own how it should be regulated.
Currently, 10 states have “trigger” laws already on the books that would immediately outlaw most or all abortions if that happened, while roughly another dozen states have laws waiting that would further restrict abortions. Meanwhile, there are at least 14 states that have proactively worked to protect abortion rights in that event, so while the procedure wouldn’t be available everywhere, it wouldn’t be completely banned either.