Nearly five decades ago, the Supreme Court ruled in a case known as Roe v. Wade that the Constitution provides women the right to undergo an abortion procedure. Now, one state attorney general is seeking to have that ruling overturned.
As The Hill reports, Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch (R) argued Thursday that the nation’s highest court should reverse its holding in Roe and a subsequent case known as Planned Parenthood v. Casey.
“Roe and Casey are egregiously wrong,” Fitch was quoted as telling the justices in her brief. “They have proven hopelessly unworkable… And nothing but a full break from those cases can stem the harms they have caused.”
At issue in this instance is a 2018 Mississippi law banning abortions after 15 weeks, except when a mother’s life is at risk. The law reportedly runs afoul of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Casey.
That case held that states may only ban abortions after the point when the baby is considered viable outside of the womb, which is generally considered to be 24 weeks of gestation.
However, many children have survived delivery before then. In 2015, NBC’s Today reported that “miracle” baby Trevor Froleck went home with his family despite being born at just 23 weeks.
“Nothing in constitutional text”
In her brief, Fitch noted that the Constitution makes no mention of abortion and places no limitations on when or how it can be restricted.
“On a sound understanding of the Constitution, the answer to the question presented in this case is clear and the path to that answer is straight,” she said, according to The Hill.
She went on: “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.”
Abortion supporters including Center for Reproductive Rights president Nancy Northup have expressed alarm over the Mississippi law, however.
“The court cannot uphold this law in Mississippi without overturning Roe’s core holding,” The Hill quoted Northup as telling reporters in May. “The stakes here are extraordinarily high.”
Leftists’ concerns come in part due to the Supreme Court’s current make-up, with former President Donald Trump having replaced liberal Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Anthony Kennedy with more conservative jurists during his time in office.