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Abortion providers warn Supreme Court would uphold Mississippi law would lead to outright bans

Washington – Abortion providers challenging a Mississippi ban on the procedure after 15 weeks of pregnancy have warned the Supreme Court that maintaining the law would upset 50 years of precedent and open the door for other states to outright ban the abortion.

The clinics told the High Court in a brief filed Monday that it should dismiss Mississippi’s request to quash Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision that established a woman’s right to an abortion. The state’s argument, they said, “boils down to the same thing: a demand that the court undermine a half-century of precedent and call on states to ban abortion altogether.”

The Supreme Court will hear the successful Mississippi abortion law dispute during its next term, which begins in October. While the state initially told the court that upholding the 15-week ban did not require overturning its abortion precedents, Mississippi officials then argued last month that they should be overturned. , a request made after the high court agreed to hear the case and its conservative majority widened to 6-3.

“These precedents are gravely flawed, unworkable, damaging and outdated,” Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch wrote in a file filed with the Supreme Court.

In their brief filed Monday, abortion providers said there was a “serious question” as to whether Mississippi’s request to quash Roe and the 1992 decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey “is even properly in court,” as he only mentioned the quashing of the two in a footnote in his original court application.

Judges will consider “whether all predictability bans on elective abortion are unconstitutional.” Under court precedents, states cannot ban abortions prior to viability, which is between 22 and 24 weeks of pregnancy.

“Accepting Mississippi’s request to drop the viability line would turn back time for generations who have never known what it means to be without the basic right to make the decision whether or not to pursue a pregnancy,” the clinics wrote. . “Any answer to the question posed other than an emphatic ‘yes’ would shatter women’s understanding of their bodies, their futures, and their decades-long equal right to liberty.”

Suppliers’ brief comes after Supreme Court in 5-4 decision refused to block a Texas law that prohibits abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, which is the country’s most restrictive measure regarding the procedure. But the court’s decision to rule on this law backfired against its new enforcement mechanism, and conservative justices said it was based on “no conclusion” about the constitutionality of the Texas measure.

Texas is one of many states, including Mississippi, that have passed laws banning early pregnancy abortions, though the others have been blocked in federal courts for violating Supreme Court precedents.

But if judges upheld Mississippi’s 15-week ban, clinics said there would be an “inevitable cascade” of other laws following a ruling in favor of the state.

“The fallout would be quick and certain,” they told the court. “As abortion bans are enforced – or the threat of enforcement looms – large swathes of the South and Midwest would likely be without access to legal abortion. Some people with the means to travel may have access to legal abortion – but only after crossing several state lines. “

Responding to the latest case from abortion providers, Fitch said in a statement that they offered “no strong case to defend Roe” and reiterated that the Supreme Court should overturn its ruling in the case.

“It’s time to get the policy-making back to people where they can approach abortion policy in a way that empowers women and promotes life,” she said.