Mississippi's Attorney General on Thursday asked the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, calling the right to abortion "egregiously wrong," while also asking the court to uphold a state law that bans most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
According to the New York Times, "The court will hear arguments in the case in the fall, giving its newly expanded conservative majority a chance to confront what may be the most divisive issue in American law: whether the Constitution protects the right to end pregnancies."
Mississippi's 15-week abortion statute was struck down by lower courts, which called it a cynical and calculated assault on abortion rights which are at odds with precedent set by the Supreme Court.
In May, the USSC agreed to hear the case, several months after anti-abortion Justice Amy Coney Barrett joined the panel - replacing abortion rights advocate Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died in September.
"The Constitution does not protect a right to abortion," wrote Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch, adding "The Constitution’s text says nothing about abortion. Nothing in the Constitution’s structure implies a right to abortion or prohibits states from restricting it."
The new filing, from Attorney General Lynn Fitch, was a sustained and detailed attack on Roe and the rulings that followed it, notably Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the 1992 decision that said states may not impose an “undue burden” on the right to abortion before fetal viability — the point at which fetuses can sustain life outside the womb, or about 23 or 24 weeks. -New York Times
According to Fitch, the scope of abortion rights should be determined through a political process.
"The national fever on abortion can break only when this court returns abortion policy to the states — where agreement is more common, compromise is often possible and disagreement can be resolved at the ballot box," she wrote.
At issue is Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, No. 19-1392, enacted in 2018 by the GOP-controlled Mississippi legislature. The law bans abortions if "the probable gestational age of the unborn human" was medically determined to be 15 weeks or more, with narrow exceptions for medical emergencies or "a severe fetal abnormality."
The precise question the justices agreed to decide was “whether all pre-viability prohibitions on elective abortions are unconstitutional.” Depending on how the court answers that question, it could reaffirm, revise or do away with the longstanding constitutional framework for abortion rights.
Ms. Fitch urged the justices to take the third approach, saying it would bolster the legitimacy of the court. -New York Times
"Roe and Casey are unprincipled decisions that have damaged the democratic process, poisoned our national discourse, plagued the law — and, in doing so, harmed this court."