Last week the US Supreme Court agreed to review a controversy, arising out of Mississippi, concerning abortion rights. Conservative Presidents and Senators, and conservative legal groups such as The Federalist Society, have worked for decades to get the proper case before the US Supreme Court, and to get the proper Justices on the Supreme Court, so that the 1973 landmark case Roe v. Wade can be overturned, and state legislatures can once again have unlimited authority either to regulate or simply to prohibit abortion.
The case that the Supreme Court has now agreed to hear is called Dobbs v. Jackson’s Women’s Health Organization. Jackson’s Women’s Health Organization is the only licensed abortion provider in the state of Mississippi. It has brought this lawsuit to forestall the enforcement of a new Mississippi law prohibiting all abortions 15 weeks or more after conception except in cases of fetal abnormality or health emergencies.
Much of the litigation over abortion in recent weeks has turned on a balancing test: whether a particular piece of regulation has created an “undue burden” on a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy, especially in the weeks before viability. But this case isn’t about whether there is an undue burden on that right. It is clearly about whether women still possess that right.
The Thing to Know:
Since the case will be argued next fall, there is a good chance the decision won’t come out until June or even July 2022. That could mean that a political volcano will be erupting just as the midterm House and Senate campaigns get underway in earnest.