The Supreme Court announced this week that it will hear a challenge to a Mississippi law that bans abortion after 15 weeks gestation.
As Washington Examiner contributor Nicole Russell explained in a piece on Tuesday, the case could have significant ramifications.
Russell noted that the case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, “directly challenges two landmark abortion cases: Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey.”
At issue is the court’s landmark 1992 ruling in Casey that said states are prohibited from banning abortion prior to viability, which is now generally considered to be 24 weeks although some babies have been born and survived even earlier.
Roe is “garbage precedent”
Critics of the ruling contend “viability is an unethical standard for abortion; many grown adults need medical aid to survive,” Russell pointed out.
“At eight weeks, babies’ organs are entirely present, they have their own unique set of DNA, and they can feel pain — or at least, they try to avoid it,” she continued.
Russell pointed out that “[m]edical advancement has not only saved the lives of countless unborn babies, but it could also provide a window into the museum of archaic thinking that Roe has trapped liberals inside.”
What’s more, Russell suggested that “the case also provides an opportunity for the justices simply to toss out a bad law,” adding, “Sure, Roe is precedent, but it’s a garbage one.”
Kavanaugh: “Overrule erroneous decisions”
Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s opinion in Ramos v. Louisiana saw him dismiss “the concept of making rulings based on precedent alone,” Russell noted.
“The doctrine of stare decisis does not mean, of course, that the Court should never overrule erroneous precedents,” Kavanaugh wrote, referring to the Latin phrase meaning “to stand by that which is decided.”
He continued, “All Justices now on this Court agree that it is sometimes appropriate for the Court to overrule erroneous decisions.”
Although there aren’t any guarantees, Russell contends that there is cause for hope, concluding, “All the pro-life movement’s efforts, protests, supplies, lobbying, adoption papers, and changed diapers are not for nothing. This could be the turning point in America’s culture war on life — when women will finally see the choice of life as essential.”