Wednesday, December 1st, 2021
Drastic judgment is imminent
Abortion rights are crumbling in the United States
A Mississippi abortion law challenges a landmark judgment. The verdict has been a thorn in the side of conservatives for decades. For liberals, the decision is a milestone. Now, as Roe v. Wade’s well-known decision actually overturned.
In the US, the liberal abortion law is under scrutiny and could be severely curtailed. The first hearings on an abortion law from the state of Mississippi have been completed before the Supreme Court in the capital Washington. The Supreme Court seems poised to uphold the law that bans abortion after week 15.
The case could result in Conservative states strictly restricting or prohibiting abortion. This danger is greater than seldom before: Under the former US President Donald Trump, the Supreme Court has moved significantly to the right. Several conservative judges indicated that they were open to the arguments of the anti-abortionists.
However, it is less clear whether there will be a clear majority to end abortion rights nationwide. However, at the hearings, the conservative judges expressed their skepticism about Roe v. Wade quite expressively – and thereby question the safe access to abortion across the country. According to the landmark judgment of Roe v. Wade from 1973, abortions are allowed in the US until the fetus is viable – today until about the 24th week of pregnancy. The decision is considered a milestone. In the case of Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the court ruled in 1992 that states should not inappropriately make women ‘s ability to benefit from an abortion difficult. Proponents of the right to abortion fear that the Supreme Court could overturn these decisions.
Biden supports Roe v. calf
Joe Biden spoke out on behalf of reproductive rights in the United States at a press conference. When asked by reporters about the court case, the US President replied, “I haven’t seen any of the presentations today.” But then he added: “And I support Roe v. Wade. I think that’s the most sensible position one can take.”
After the hearings, the nine Supreme Court justices will sit down alone in a conference room and discuss the case. In the end, it will depend on how the final opinion will be worded – a process that will take months.
The background to this is a law from Mississippi that bans almost all abortions after the 15th week of pregnancy. Lower instances had previously ruled that the law did not interfere with Roe v. Wade is compatible. The conservatively governed state then called the US Supreme Court to review the case. The fact that the court is even dealing with the case is seen by observers as a sign that Roe v. Wade could tip over.
Hundreds of demonstrators gathered in front of the court. Abortion opponents in particular mobilized strongly. “I wish there were no more abortions. But I know there is still a long way to go,” said Sarah Soltus, a student at a Christian college in Pennsylvania. “Women should be trusted to make their own decisions about their bodies,” said abortion advocate Laney McNolty. Police arrested 33 people near the Supreme Court.
A decision by the Supreme Court in the case is not expected until next year. In the most drastic case, the court could completely overturn past decisions, leaving it up to the states alone to regulate their abortion law. Some states have already prepared laws that could come into effect immediately. Above all, it is the ultra-conservative states in the South and Midwest who want to ban abortion entirely or almost completely. In the long term, this could also open the door to law restricting abortions across the country. To do this, the Republicans would have to have a corresponding majority in Washington.
With its decisions on particularly controversial issues such as abortion, immigration or same-sex marriages, the Supreme Court repeatedly sets the course for US society. During Trump’s tenure, the conservative majority in the court was expanded to six of the nine seats with the refill on the bench. Liberal Judge Stephen Breyer stressed that it could call the legitimacy of the court into question if landmark judgments were overturned in these circumstances.
“Profound Health Effects”
“Women who are unable to travel hundreds of miles to get access to a legal abortion will be forced to continue their pregnancy and give birth, which will have profound effects on their bodies, their health and their lives US Attorney General Elizabeth Prelogar argued at the hearing. The conservative judge Samuel Alito, on the other hand, questioned the viability of the fetus as a guideline. A fetus has an interest in life – that does not change with viability.
Only one abortion clinic is currently open in Mississippi – the Pink House in the capital Jackson. There are regular massive protests in front of the clinic – women are harassed and protected by volunteers. Just a few weeks ago, the Supreme Court was dealing with an abortion law case in Texas. However, the hearing only dealt indirectly with the question of the right to abortion – rather technical issues were in the foreground.