Sport Lone Mississippi clinic on front line of U.S. Supreme Court abortion battle
Texas abortion ban stays in force as justices mull outcome
WASHINGTON (AP) — More than two weeks have passed since the Supreme Court's extraordinarily rushed arguments over Texas' unique abortion law without any word from the justices. They raised expectations of quick action by putting the case on a rarely used fast track. And yet, to date, the court's silence means that women cannot get an abortion in Texas, the second-largest state, after about six weeks of pregnancy. That's before some women knowThey raised expectations of quick action by putting the case on a rarely used fast track. And yet, to date, the court's silence means that women cannot get an abortion in Texas, the second-largest state, after about six weeks of pregnancy.
By Lawrence Hurley
JACKSON, Miss. (Reuters) - As a car drove into the parking lot of Jackson Women's Health Organization clinic, the only abortion provider in the state of Mississippi, anti-abortion activist Beverly Anderson leaned in to speak to the woman in the passenger's seat.
Two escorts wearing rainbow-colored vests blared rock music to drown out Anderson and other protesters as patients entered the fenced lot.
"Ma'am, you are already a mother. Don't let them kill your baby," Anderson, 61, told the woman.
Conflict over abortion laws won't abate if Roe v. Wade falls
On both sides of America’s abortion debate, activists are convinced that Roe v. Wade — the 1973 Supreme Court ruling establishing a nationwide right to abortion — is imperiled as never before. Yet no matter how the current conservative-dominated court handles pending high-profile abortion cases — perhaps weakening Roe, perhaps gutting it completely — there will be no monolithic, nationwide change. Fractious state-by-state battles over abortion access will continue. Roe's demise would likely prompt at least 20 Republican-governed states to impose sweeping bans; perhaps 15 Democratic-governed states would reaffirm support for abortion access.
The escorts turned up the volume on the Guns N' Roses song "Nightrain" as the woman was led into the pink-colored building located next to a Homewood Suites hotel and across the street from a taqueria.
It is a common scene at a clinic at the center of a major legal fight https://www.reuters.com/world/us/us-supreme-court-case-past-could-be-future-abortion-2021-11-23 now before the U.S. Supreme Court that could shape the future of American abortion rights. The nine justices on Wednesday are due to hear arguments in Mississippi's bid to revive a Republican-backed 2018 law, blocked by lower courts, banning abortion at 15 weeks of pregnancy. Mississippi has asked the justices to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe. v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion nationwide.
In U.S. Supreme Court case, the past could be the future on abortion
In U.S. Supreme Court case, the past could be the future on abortionOXFORD, Miss. (Reuters) - Just months before she was set to start law school in the summer of 1973, Barbara Phillips was shocked to learn she was pregnant.
Mississippi is among 12 states https://www.reuters.com/world/us/us-supreme-court-case-past-could-be-future-abortion-2021-11-23 with so-called trigger laws designed to ban abortion if Roe v. Wade is overturned. Additional states also likely would move quickly to curtail abortion access with such a ruling.
Anti-abortion advocates like Anderson, who cite religious opposition to the procedure, believe they are closer than ever to overturning Roe, a longstanding goal for Christian conservatives and a driving force https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-abortion/at-anti-abortion-rally-trump-assails-democrats-draws-applause-idUSKBN1ZN152 behind some recent Supreme Court appointments https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-usa-court-barrett/trumps-supreme-court-nominee-advocated-overturning-legalized-abortion-idINKBN26M7IS by Republican presidents.
Mississippi Legal Brief Argues 'Nothing' in Constitution Supports 'Right to Abortion'
The brief asks the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the landmark decision to legalize abortion and allow states to decide how to regulate the practice."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," Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch and four of her attorneys said in the brief.
Anderson said she would "praise God" if the Supreme Court rules the way she hopes.
'EVERY WOMAN HAS A CHOICE'
The Jackson clinic sees between 60 and 80 patients a week, with most obtaining abortions by pill. It has two rooms where women can obtain surgical abortions performed between 11 and 16 weeks of pregnancy.
A 40-year-old woman from Jackson, who was six weeks pregnant and undergoing a medication abortion, said she was grateful for the clinic.
"Every woman has a choice on whether to have a child or not. I don't think it's the state's decision," she said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Roe v. Wade recognized that the right to personal privacy under the U.S. Constitution protects a woman's ability to terminate her pregnancy. The Supreme Court in a 1992 ruling called Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey reaffirmed the right to abortion and prohibited laws imposing an "undue burden" on abortion access.
Supreme Court to hear landmark abortion case this week
The justices will hear arguments Wednesday over a Mississippi law that bans abortion after 15 weeks in a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade.The case poses the clearest test yet of the 6-3 conservative court's trajectory. Conservatives and anti-abortion activists have since 1973 sought to narrow or overturn the legal right to an abortion first recognized in the Roe decision. They hope the upcoming Mississippi case finally leads to its dismantling. The state's Republican attorney general, in a court brief filed over the summer, explicitly urged the justices to overrule Roe and related rulings, calling the court's precedent on abortion "egregiously wrong.
Abortion opponents hope the court, with its 6-3 conservative majority, will narrow or overturn the Roe and Casey rulings in the Mississippi case.
Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch, a Republican, in court papers called those two rulings "egregiously wrong" and based on obsolete science. State legislatures should have more leeway to restrict abortion, Fitch said.
The Roe and Casey decisions determined that states cannot ban abortion before a fetus is viable outside the womb, generally viewed by doctors as between 24 and 28 weeks.
Mississippi's 15-week ban directly challenged that finding. Even if the court does not explicitly overturn Roe, any ruling letting states ban abortion before the fetus is viable outside the womb would raise questions about how early states could ban the procedure.
"Without that clear line that courts could apply, states would be able to ban abortion at virtually any point of pregnancy," said lawyer Julie Rikelman of the Center for Reproductive Rights, which challenged Mississippi's law on behalf of the Jackson clinic.
Mississippi's law and other similar ones passed by various Republican-led states represent direct challenges to Roe v. Wade.
After the clinic sued to block the measure, a federal judge in 2018 ruled against Mississippi. The New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in 2019 reached the same conclusion, prompting Mississippi to turn to the Supreme Court
'Roe' on the line as Supreme Court takes up abortion rights case
The Supreme Court will hear a case from Mississippi that could transform abortion rights in America, overturning Roe v. Wade and allowing stringent new state laws. "This is the most important Supreme Court case on abortion since Roe in 1973, and I don't think it's particularly close," said Sherif Girgis, Notre Dame law professor and former clerk to Justice Samuel Alito.
Sitting behind her desk in her cluttered office, one eye on a screen showing security camera footage of the anti-abortion protesters outside, clinic director Shannon Brewer vowed to do whatever she can to help women access abortion if the Supreme Court rules in favor of Mississippi.
"That would be a huge step backwards. It would be a slap in a woman's face to say after all these years you still don't have control over your body," Rikelman said.
Her organization could assist with travel and accommodation costs and refer women to out-of-state doctors for abortions, Brewer said.
If Roe v. Wade were overturned, more women would have to travel out of conservative states like Mississippi for abortions, an option that those with scarce financial resources may be unable to accomplish, according to a doctor at the clinic who flies in from Massachusetts.
"It makes me want to cry," said the doctor, also speaking on condition of anonymity. "It makes me feel defeated and horrified that people in this country hate women so much they don't want them to be able to access a full range of pregnancy care."
(Reporting by Lawrence Hurley in Jackson, Mississippi; Additional reporting by Andrew Chung; Editing by Will Dunham and Scott Malone)
Abortion: Challenge to Mississippi law could provide answer to Roe v. Wade's fate .
At stake in the case is a Mississippi law banning most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy as well as the Supreme Court's commitment to Roe v. Wade.In the most closely watched dispute the high court has tackled in years, the justices will consider not only whether to uphold the Mississippi law but whether to overturn its 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade that established a constitutional right to abortion.