Supreme Court on Roe v Wade summary: arguments, Abortion Law, Mississippi...
- Supreme Court appears set overturn Roe v Wade after initial oral hearing
- President Biden describes supporting Roe v Wade as the "rational position"
- On Wednesday the Supreme Court began hearing oral arguments regarding the Mississippi abortion ban after 15 weeks
- Pro-life groups want the Court to overturn the historic 1973 Roe v Wade case which remains a super precedent
- Justice Kavanaugh: "The Constitution is neither pro-life nor pro-choice" (Full details)
- If overturned, 12 states would immediately ban abortion due to existing 'trigger laws', while 26 in total are likely to ban it
- States could be left to decide for themselves when abortion is legal, if at all
- What is Roe v Wade? (Full details)
- Who are the Supreme Court Justices and what do they do? (Full details)
- Can the Supreme Court overturn Roe v Wade? (Full details)
- What is a fetal heartbeat abortion law? (Full details)
- What is the Texas abortion law currently being challenged in the Supreme Court? (Full details)
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In 1973 the Supreme Court established constitutional abortion rights in a case named Roe v Wade, determining that it was unconstitutional for a US government to excessively restrict abortion. This led to the current state of affairs where it is legal in all states, but there have been renewed efforts to overturn the ruling, helped by a large conservative majority on the Supreme court; six conservatives and three liberal justices make up the nine.
"The Supreme Court will make the most important reproductive-related decision in decades in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. Polling shows many Mississippians believe that abortions should be legal, especially for those who have been victims of rape or incest. Nonetheless Attorney General Lynn Fitch is leading a charge against a person’s right to make a decision about their own body by asking the Court to overturn the longstanding Roe v. Wade ruling.
"This is not only about Mississippi. If the Court overturns Roe, over half the states in the U.S. are poised to pass sweeping legislation making abortion illegal, inaccessible and unsafe."
What happens if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v Wade?
Abortion rights groups are now being forced to seriously consider the possibility that the Supreme Court could strike down Roe v Wade, or at least made some sizeable changes to the law in the United States. A legal challenge to the precedent from Mississippi was allowed before the Court and the initial oral hearings suggested that four of the conservative Justices are contemplating overturning Roe v Wade; here's what that could mean for the nation...
"I support Roe v. Wade... I think it's the rational position to take and I continue to support it."
Abortion rights in the United States are "non-negotiable"
In the coming months the Supreme Court will decide whether the ruling of Roe v Wade, the foundation of abortion rights in the US, is valid and could potentially bring about one of the most dramatic shifts in American society for decades. The ruling has served as precedent in a whole host of legal battles in the last 48 years but is thought to be closer than ever to being overturned by the new conservative majority in the Court.
Latest on the Supreme Court abortion hearing
It seems that the Supreme Court is closer than ever before to overruling the precedent set in Roe v Wade which assures that abortion rights are constitutional. The Court has been called to rule on the validity of a Mississippi law that would ban abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, undercutting the 24-week rule currently in place.
Pelosi criticises Supreme Court over abortion rights court case
Back in May the Supreme Court took the surprising step of agreeing to hear arguments from Mississippi in relation to an abortion law that the state had been trying to implement. The new law would outlaw the majority of abortions after 15 weeks, undercutting the 24-week limited outlined by the Supreme Court in Casey v Planned Parenthood (1992).
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi told reporters that the decision to allow Mississippi to plead their case was intrinsically unconstitutional and promised to resume legislative efforts in the House to secure abortion rights in law.
The Supreme Court finds itself at the centre of a national issue after hearing oral arguments in an abortion rights case brought by the state of Mississippi. Their ruling will have huge consequences for generations to come and could remove the constitutional right to abortion that was established back in 1973.
But what is the Supreme Court, and who are the Justices that serve on it?
Trevor Noah: "Roe v Wade will soon be overturned"
The Daily Show host Trevor Noah has posted a short video regarding the ongoing Supreme Court case on abortion rights. Early indications suggest that the Court's conservative members look likely to overturn at least some elements of the precedent-setting Roe v Wade decision which has provided constitutional abortion rights for Americans for nearly half a century.
Yesterday the Supreme Court began hearing arguments on Dobbs v Jackson Women's Health, which will likely redefine the law on abortion rights in the United States. A ruling in favour of Dobbs could set the stage for an overturning of the landmark 1973 Roe v Wade case, which has formed the basis of abortion rights in the US for half a century.
Roe v Wade saw a framework drawn up to balance the state’s medical powers with women’s privacy rights, but the Mississippi case seeks to challenge their decision and reduce the legal protection for abortion to 15 weeks into a pregnancy. But when will the Supreme Court publish their final ruling?
Biden: Supporting Roe v Wade is the "rational position"
President Biden has outlined his views on Roe v Wade in a press conference today, responding to a question related to the Supreme Court abortion rights hearing that is currently taking place. Justices have been asked to rule on an abortion law brought by the state of Mississippi, which could see them decide to overrule aspects of the precendent-setting Roe v Wade ruling.
"Usually there has to be a justification, a strong justification, in a case like this beyond the fact that you think the case is wrong."
"And I guess what strikes me when I look at this case is that, you know, not much has changed since Roe and Casey, that people think it's right or wrong based on the things that they have always thought it was right or wrong for."
"The Constitution is neither pro-life nor pro-choice on the question of abortion but leaves the issue for the people of the states or perhaps Congress to resolve in the democratic process."
What has President Biden said about the Roe v Wade challenge?
In a White House press conference from earlier today Press Secretary Jen Psaki outlined the President's position on abortion rights, stating that he is in favour of codifying the right in law. The Supreme Court will rule on the constitutionality of Roe v Wade, which has provided vital precedent for nearly 50 years, but Congress and the White House could secure abortion rights in federal law. As it stands, 12 states of trigger laws to ban or limit abortion rights if Roe v Wade is overturned, and many more are expected to follow suit if it is thrown out.
In May the Supreme Court agreed to hear a challenge from the state of Mississippi who want to introduce a new law that would ban the majority of abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. This goes against the precedent set in Roe v Wade (1973) and which was reaffirmed in Casey v Planned Parenthood (1992).
Within the first day of oral hearings, Justice Brett Kavanaugh shocked abortion rights groups by outlining his belief that there is no explicit constitutional right to abortion and paving the way for Roe v Wade to be overturned. Here's what he had to say about the issue of abortion rights in the United States...
Dozens arrested in abortion rights protest at Supreme Court
The issue of abortion rights is a hugely animating one which tends to illicit strong emotions on both sides of the debate. On the first day of the Supreme Court challenge to Roe v Wade, both pro-life and pro-choice advocacy groups gathered outside the Supreme Court and at least 33 people were arrested. Early indications suggest that the conservative-minded Justices are considering overturning Roe v Wade.
According to this report from the Washington Examiner: "Protesters refused to respond to questions, and many wore T-shirts and carried signs displaying pro-abortion rights messages."
Protestors gather outside Supreme Court abortion hearing
Yesterday the Supreme Court began hearing arguments in one of the most high-profile cases to arrive at the court for years, with Roe v Wade undergoing a legel challenge from the state of Mississippi. Justices are ruling on the constitutionality of a Mississippi law which looks to ban abortions after 15 weeks, which is currently outlawed due to precedent from Roe v Wade.
Their decision will have huge consequences for decades to come and groups from both sides of the debate have gathered outside the Supreme Court to make their feelings heard.
Will this institution survive the stench?
Why should this court be the arbiter rather than … the people?
At issue before us today is 15 weeks.
What have judges said after day one of oral arguments?
The Supreme Court hearing on Wednesday over Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban suggested the conservative-majority court is willing to place new restrictions on abortion.
States with legal abortion could become hotspots if it is banned
New York’s attorney general said Wednesday that the state should create a fund to help out-of-state women come to seek abortions if the Supreme Court overturns the 1973 Roe v Wade decision and allows other states to ban the procedure.
Letitia James, a Democrat who is also running for governor next year, said overturning Roe would leave women in about half the states without local access to abortions, and she said New York should step in and help them.
Filibuster is blocking congressional action on abortion rights
The right to have a legal abortion in the United States is based on the decision in Roe v Wade by the Supreme Court in 1973 that found a woman's right to an abortion was protected under the constitution. But that right is not codified into US law under specific language just an interpretation of the US Constitution which has allowed those opposed to chip away at abortion rights over the ensuing five decades.
Although some states do afford protections at the state level for a woman to access abortion, should Roe v Wade be overturned current access that is available would disappear in large swaths of the nation. Despite the Democrats in control of both chambers of Congress there is little hope that a national law could be passed to safe guard abortion rights for all American women due to the filibuster.
Senator Elizabeth Warren says this is another example of why the filibuster needs to go.
More than 2 in 3 Americans support Roe v. Wade. But the constitutional right to an abortion is in the hands of 9 judges — including FIVE appointed by presidents who LOST the popular vote. It’s not too late for the Senate to fix this. Pass the Women’s Health Protection Act now.
Overturning Roe would make the US an outlier on abortion rights
Over the past two decades scores of nations have moved to expand abortion rights largely on the based on international human right laws which the US obligated to follow under several treaties. Abortion is recognized as necessary to achieve women’s autonomy, equality, and well-being as well as essential healthcare.
Mississippi enacted a bill in 2018 that made abortion illegal after 15 weeks of pregnancy in most cases which was immediately challenged in court. The law is a direct challenge to abortion rights granted under the 1973 Supreme Court ruling in Roe v Wade.
The sole remaining abortion clinic in the state, the Jackson Women’s Health Organization, sued Mississippi over the prohibition. After losing in lower courts, the state has now appealed those decisions all the way to the Supreme Court where the fate of nearly 50 years of judicial precedent hangs in the balance.
Consequences of Roe being overturned
One of the challenges for women seeking an abortion is the distances they have to travel to visit a clinic. As of 2019 there were six states that have just one abortion provider, but with trigger laws set to go into affect should Roe be overturned, abortion would be restricted in 22 states.
What would happen should Roe v Wade be overturned?
Depending which side a person is on in the abortion debates they either hope or fear that the decision in Roe v Wade in 1973 will be overturned. But what hangs in the balance should the nearly 50-year-old precendent which has be chipped away at over the that time be struck down?
Reading into what the Supreme Court will decide about abortion rights
The case that the Supreme Court Justices heard today is a direct attempt to undue the limits placed on states to when legislatures can restrict access to abortion. Generally, states cannot limit access to abortion before "fetal viability" determined to be around 24 weeks of a pregnancy. Mississippi enacted a law in 2018 that would ban abortions if a fetus is determined to be more than 15 weeks of gestational age.
It will still be weeks before the final verdict is reached on the fate of Roe v Wade which in 1973 gave women the right to have a legal abortion. But after the oral arguements were heard today a lot is being read into what the Justices said as to whether Roe will be overturned or if it will be upheld but a tighter timeframe for when states can intrude on a woman's choice about her preganancy will be set.
Here are five takeaways from The Hill.
A look at the last abortion clinic in Mississippi
In the 1980s there were just over a dozen abortion clinics in the state of Mississippi but by 2006 all but one had closed under more restrictive laws. In 2012 a law requiring the clinic's medical staff to have hospital admitting privileges nearly did in the Jackson Women's Health Organization.
In Mississippi, it is already difficult enough to get an abortion
In comparison to California in 2014, Mississippi has far fewer abortion clinics.
In fact, it is just one, compared to California's 419, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The New York Times walks through the differences between the two states in getting an abortion. There are 14 extra steps to getting on in Mississippi compared to California, showing the imbalance that persists between states even with Roe v Wade enforced.
The Roe v Wade ruling ensures the key principles of constitutional abortion rights and is the only thing preventing a number of states of enacting their own abortion bans. States are unable to introduce bans on abortions before 24 weeks, which is considered the point of fetal viability, which is when the fetus could potentially survive outside the womb.
The Supreme Court’s willingness to even listen to a case relating to a pre-viability ban on abortions is a huge departure from previous decisions, but is far from confirmation that Roe v Wade will be overturned.
An overturning of Roe v Wade would go against the views of the nation
Majorities of Americans support maintaining Roe v Wade and also oppose states making it harder for abortion clinics to operate.
A poll by ABC News and the Washington Post say the high court should uphold Roe.
On personal decision, 75% say the decision whether a woman can have an abortion should be left to her and her doctor, not regulated by law.
Will the ruling put the Supreme Court at risk?
The appointment of new judges is very politicized, due to the fact they are handpicked by presidents. There has been some anxiety that a ruling that could overturn Roe v Wade could put the court at risk, as it has been claimed the ruling essentially boils down to the political views of the judges involved.
"I think the best evidence of Barrett's position on Roe v Wade is that President Trump has said he will only appoint justices who are committed to reversing Roe, and there's no reason not to believe him," says Katie Watson, an attorney and bioethicist at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine .
The Supreme Court ruling in 1973, named Roe v Wade after the parties involved, determined that it was unconstitutional for a US government to excessively restrict abortion. This led to a state of affairs today where it is legal in all states, but there have been renewed efforts to overturn the ruling, helped by a large conservative majority on the Supreme court; six conservatives and three liberal justices make up the nine.
The second ruling of Roe v Wade determines that the viability of a fetus is after six months of gestation. However, due to not taking into account technological advancements, someone's idea of what is a "viable" child is essentially up for debate, as the Supreme Court is deciding.
How Democratic is the Supreme Court?
As the nomination of justices is totally random, based on a retirement or death, it gives president's the power to mold one of the strongest institution in their political image. For example, despite winning the popular vote only once since 1988, the Republican Party have appointed six out of the last 10 justices. This has given the party much greater power than the Democrats to craft constitutional and federal law, despite only once having a popular mandate to do so.
Protests outside Supreme Court as arguments get underway
There were clashes between pro and anti-abortion campaigners as the Supreme court began to listen to oral arguments on Wednesday afternoon.
Democrats Diana DeGette and Barbara Lee, co-chairs of the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus, were among the representatives who appeared. Lee told the crowd of her experience getting an abortion.
“I remember what it was like before Roe v Wade. I survived. Many women, especially Black women, did not survive. We will not go back to those ways,” Lee said.
To start, a breakdown of how the Supreme Court works.
Established by Article Three of the United States Constitution, the Supreme Court was initially established by the 1st Congress through the Judiciary Act of 1789. As later set by the Judiciary Act of 1869, the Court consists of the chief justice of the United States and eight associate justices: nine in total. The court has massive power, being able to effectively veto legislation and laws that it deems are against the constitution.
When a vacancy occurs, the president, with the advice and consent of the Senate, appoints a new justice.
Good evening and welcome to the first of our Supreme Court live feeds. Arguments have begun in a case relating to Mississippi abortion law, which could lead to the overturning of the 1973 Roe v Wade case.
At stake is the right for women to have abortions as per Roe v Wade.
AS USA will be leading you through what could be one of the most significant law changes in decades.