The state of Mississippi on 22nd July urged the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the landmark 1973 ruling, which recognized that women have a constitutional right to obtain an abortion. After the request was rejected by two of the lower courts, the supreme court has decided to hear the case in the next term. Know that Mississippi has already passed the law where they only allow abortion till week fifteen, not making any exceptions for rape cases.
Although, this is not the first time that any conservative state has moved to the higher court to challenge or alter the laws they feel aren’t fit to their belief. But then, why has this particular case gained so much attention? It’s because this case provides an attractive vehicle for the court to use to broadly rewrite the rule that says states can’t prohibit abortions.
What happened previously when the Supreme court was faced with the same question?
In 1973, in the case Roe versus Wade, the supreme court said that women have the constitutional right to decide to end their pregnancy via abortion. Hence, the anti-abortion laws of 46 states were rendered unconstitutional.
In 1992, in Planned Parenthood vs Casey, the supreme court was asked to overrule Roe, and the majority of the court, five Justices, declined that invitation and reaffirmed that women do have the constitutional rights to decide to end their pregnancy. And now we are in a world where
So, the Supreme court has consistently ruled in favour of women abortions before. However, this time there is no way to upload Mississippi’s law without overruling Roe and Casey or dramatically rewriting the law regarding abortion restrictions.
In the hearing, the supreme court will be re-deciding these two questions:
1) To overrule roe and Casey (landmark cases about the legalization of women abortions)
2) What is the legal test that determines whether abortion restrictions are constitutional?
It is difficult to predict the outcome of this hearing because this time, the judiciary committee might have some proportion of conservative judges. The committee was formed when the USA had a Republican president. And, the republican government has always been proactive about adding restrictions on abortion. So, ban or no ban – this is undoubtedly going to turn out to be a landmark ruling for the future of abortion restrictions in the USA.