Abortion remains a hot-button issue across the nation, and Mississippi is waging its own effort to overturn the Supreme Court decision legalizing the practice.
As a high-profile case advances in the state, Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch has filed a legal brief arguing that there is no constitutional right to abortion despite the “egregiously wrong” precedent set in the landmark 1973 case of Roe v. Wade, the Washington Examiner reports.
Mississippi makes its case
After a 2018 state law prohibited abortions after 15 weeks except in medical emergencies, the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization sought to challenge the restriction.
Lower courts blocked the law, citing prior rulings that determined states do not have the authority to impose an “undue burden” on abortions conducted before a fetus is viable outside of the mother’s womb. Fitch, a Republican, asked the Supreme Court to end its status quo, which she said has created confusion and tension by placing courts in charge of a matter that should be resolved by individual states.
She argued that abortion rights were granted because of a misinterpretation of the Constitution and have no basis in “text, structure, history, or tradition.”
The attorney general went on to insist that the Constitution does not strictly prohibit a state from banning “elective abortions before viability.”
For its part, the anti-abortion Susan B. Anthony List expressed its support of Fitch’s “masterful” move.
“Let this debate move forward”
In a statement, the group asserted that her brief “makes clear that the Supreme Court’s abortion jurisprudence is hopelessly unworkable, ungrounded in history or facts, and has tied the hands of pro-life Americans and their elected representatives, for decades.”
As for challenges to prior court decisions legalizing abortion, the statement concluded that it is “long overdue to let this debate move forward democratically.”
Progressives, on the other hand, are concerned that the Supreme Court’s conservative majority could threaten existing precedent. Of course, the court’s ruling last year in June v. Russo came down in favor of abortion rights.
If Roe v. Wade is overturned, 10 states already have so-called trigger laws that would instantly declare abortion illegal.
Planned Parenthood is clearly paying close attention to the situation, asserting: “Mississippi has said the quiet part out loud. The purpose of its blatantly unconstitutional abortion ban is to have the Supreme Court overrule 50 years of precedent and allow states to ban abortions.”