On Monday, May 17, the Supreme Court announced they would hear a Mississippi abortion case that restricts abortion after 15 weeks gestation. The case, Dobbs v. Jackson, could directly challenge Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court ruling that established legal abortion nationwide. In their announcement, the Supreme Court stated they would consider the question of whether “all pre-viability prohibitions on elective abortions are unconstitutional.”
“A majority of Americans support legal protections for unborn children,” says Lois Anderson, ORTL executive director. “A poll by YouGov last year revealed 77% of Americans support restrictions on abortion.”
In 2020, President Donald Trump nominated Justice Amy Coney Barrett, a judicial conservative, to join the panel of Supreme Court justices after the sudden passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Barrett’s appointment secured a 6-3 conservative majority. Dobbs will be the first abortion-related case heard since Justice Barrett joined the Court. Her presence provides the potential for the Court to weaken or overturn Roe v. Wade.
Since the Roe and Planned Parenthood v. Casey decisions, significant advancements in the science and medical fields continue to confirm the humanity of the unborn. At 15 weeks, babies have developed hearts, limbs, and facial features. They make basic bodily functions like sucking and swallowing. Studies show they can feel and process pain.
Seventy percent of Americans reject abortion after the first trimester of pregnancy. With the introduction of over 500 pro-life bills across the country, their elected representatives are committed to regulating abortion rights and protecting developing children before birth.