JACKSON, Mississippi (WLBT) – The president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights has said the alarm bells should ring for Americans who want abortion to remain safe and legal.
The center held a teleconference Monday to discuss the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to take up a case challenging Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban.
“Today the Supreme Court granted a re-determination of a Mississippi case that is a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade… a direct challenge to literally 50 years of Supreme Court precedent,” said the CRR chairperson. , Nancy Northup.
Northup went on to say that Mississippi passed the law specifically as a test case to overthrow Roe, the landmark case that legalized abortions in the country.
“The court cannot enforce this law in Mississippi without overturning Roe’s fundamental position that every pregnant person has the right to decide (their) pregnancy before viability.”
She wouldn’t speculate why the court took the case or why it took so long for the judges to agree to hear it. The case was circulated for conference several times before the court finally decided to hear it.
The court ruling comes three years after Mississippi passed the Gestational Age Act in 2018, which prohibits most abortions after 15 weeks except in a medical emergency or serious fetal abnormality, according to NBC News.
The law was challenged by the Jackson Women’s Health Organization, Mississippi’s only abortion clinic, and was struck down by U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves. The United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals later upheld this ruling.
Now, the High Court’s decision to take up the case worries and even irritates some abortion rights activists.
“It really pissed me off, for lack of a better word,” said Shannon Brewer of the Jackson Women’s Health Organization. ” That does not make sense. It is unconstitutional and it is a blow to the back for women.
About 10 percent of women seeking service at the Jackson Clinic are over 15 weeks old. About half of the clinic’s patients come from out of state.
Brewer said if the Supreme Court upholds the Mississippi ban, it will end up hurting women, who already face difficulties getting abortions in Magnolia state.
“The stakes are extraordinarily high,” Northup said. “If we weaken abortion (the law), it will be banned in half of the country, (including) many places in the South and Midwest,” Northup said.
She said 24 states would ban abortion outright if Roe was weakened, including 11 states that have trigger clauses to automatically make abortion a felony if the court changes precedent.
“The alarm bells should ring for 70% of… people who want abortion to remain safe and legal,” she said.
A May 6 article published by the Pew Research Center shows that 59% of American adults believe abortion should be legal in all or most cases.
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