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Mississippi attorney general argues US Supreme Court should overturn Roe v. Wade

Published: Jul. 23, 2021 at 5:38 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear the case involving a Mississippi law restricting abortions at 15 weeks this upcoming fall. Experts say this challenge has the best chance to change Roe vs. Wade in decades.

Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch wrote in her brief to the U.S. Supreme Court that Roe versus Wade should be overturned.

Fitch wrote: “Under the Constitution, may a State prohibit elective abortions before viability? Yes. Why? Because nothing in constitutional text, structure, history, or tradition supports a right to abortion.”

“People on the other side have said that for a long time before Roe Vs Wade, the Supreme Court recognized because that the 9th Amendment says there are other rights that are not spelled out in the constitution, privacy is one of them,” Steve Mulroy, University of Memphis Law Professor said.

The U.S. Supreme Court currently has the most justices that are considered Republican leaning in the past several decades. Experts give this case involving a challenge to a Mississippi law banning abortions after 15 weeks the best chance to restrict abortion rights in some time.

“Certainly the most direct challenge since the early 1990′s,” Mulroy said.

The vote of newcomer, Justice Amy Coney Barrett, a Rhodes College graduate, will play a pivotal role in the potential outcome.

“Barrett in particular had a reputation for being skeptical of abortion rights, certainly concerned about abortion, about the ability of the state legislature to police abortions,” Mulroy said.

University of Memphis Law Professor Steve Mulroy says there’s a slim chance the Supreme Court would entirely overturn Roe vs. Wade.

“You may not see in the near future the actual sentence, ‘Roe v Wade is overruled.’ What you might see is reinterpretations of the Casey decision that weakened the right to an abortion to the point where the right to an abortion might suffer ultimately the death of a thousand cuts,” Mulroy said.

A statement from the Center for reproductive rights reads: “Mississippi has stunningly asked the Supreme Court to overturn Roe and every other abortion rights decision in the last five decades. Today’s brief reveals the extreme and regressive strategy, not just of this law, but of the avalanche of abortion bans and restrictions that are being passed across the country.

Their goal is for the Supreme Court to take away our right to control our own bodies and our own futures—not just in Mississippi, but everywhere.

Let’s be clear; any ruling in favor of Mississippi in this case overturns the core holding of Roe –the right to make a decision about whether to continue a pregnancy before viability. The Court has held that the Constitution guarantees this right.

If Roe falls, half the states in the country are poised to ban abortion entirely. Women of child-bearing age in the U.S. have never known a world in which they don’t have this basic right, and we will keep fighting to make sure they never will.”

Republican leaning legislatures such as those in Tennessee and Arkansas, states that have already passed abortion legislation, will be paying close attention to this decision which may come as soon as this spring.

To read the full brief from Attorney General Finch, click here.

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