Decision in case not expected before mid-2022
WASHINGTON (Nexstar) – “Will this institution survive the stench this creates in the public perception?”
That’s the question Justice Sonia Sotomayor asked when the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a Mississippi case that could have national implications for abortion.
Sotomayor focused his questions on whether the Supreme Court can survive the appearance of political bias in this abortion rights ruling now that there is a Conservative 6-3 majority.
Lawyer Julie Rickleman and the United States solicitor general have opposed the 15-week abortion ban in Mississippi.
“This case is a precedent of about 50 years that the fundamental equality of women and their ability to make decisions that are fundamental to their lives are at stake,” said Rickleman. She said women are not really equal before the law if they can be forced to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term.
The landmark cases of Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey have established that states cannot ban abortion until a fetus is viable, around 24 weeks.
But Scott Stewart, advocating for the state of Mississippi, said, “Roe vs. Wade and Planned Parenthood vs. Casey haunt our country.”
Stewart tried to convince the judges that these cases had been poorly decided and should be overturned. “Nowhere else does this court recognize the right to end human life,” he said.
Chief Justice John Roberts appeared poised to uphold the Mississippi abortion ban.
“I would like to focus on the 15 week ban because it’s not a dramatic departure from viability,” Roberts said.
If the court overturns Roe v Wade, many states already have so-called trigger laws to ban abortions.
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