Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization

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About Dobbs v. Jackson

Commonly referred to as the Mississippi Abortion Ban at 15-Weeks Gestation.

In 2018, Mississippi passed a law called the “Gestational Age Act,” which prohibits all abortions, with few exceptions, after 15 weeks’ gestational age. Federal district court prevented Mississippi from enforcing the law, finding that the state did not provide evidence that a fetus would be viable at 15 weeks, shackling the state to outdated and unscientific information on pre-viability.

Current Supreme Court precedents prohibit states from banning abortions prior to viability due to Roe v. Wade and Casey v. Planned Parenthood. This case is the first time SCOTUS will rule on the constitutionality of a pre-viability abortion ban since Roe v. Wade in 1973.

The case is now in the Supreme Court and oral arguments will begin December 1, 2021. SCOTUS is due to hand down a decision in the spring of 2022.

The Case

  • Nothing in constitutional text, structure, history, or tradition supports a right to abortion or the right to kill innocent unborn children.
  • If the pre-viability standard is reversed and Roe is struck down more broadly, abortion policy would be left to the states.
  • Current U.S. abortion policy is extreme. The U.S. is one of only 7 countries in the world that allows abortion past 20 weeks: the United States, Canada, China, Netherlands, North Korea, Singapore, and Vietnam.
  • In Europe, 39 of the 42 countries with elective abortions ban them at 15 weeks.
  • The abortion lobby knows that science is not on their side, and neither is the public:
    • 65% of Americans think states should make abortion laws.
    • 65% of Americans say abortion should be illegal in the second trimester.
    • 80% of Americans say abortion should be illegal in the third trimester.

Pre-viability: Gestational ages prior to survival outside the womb.
Viability: The gestational age that an unborn baby can survive outside the womb.

Source: polling on abortion in Oregon

Babies at 15 weeks

  • The 15-week-old unborn baby can feel pain. Pain receptors in the skin develop between 10-17 weeks.
  • The heart has already thumped over 15.8 million times and pumps 26 quarts of blood per day, or 6.5 gallons. The baby’s heart began beating at 22-days after conception.
  • All the major organs have formed.
  • If a doctor took an x-ray of the baby at 15-weeks, the entire skeleton would be visible.
  • At this stage of gestation, the brain creates 250,000 neurons per minute and the connections that form last into adulthood.
  • Eye movements are captured on ultrasounds.
  • Surgeons have successfully performed surgeries on unborn babies at this stage of development.