By Tom Strode
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court’s oral arguments on Dec. 1 left pro-life advocates hopeful the justices are poised to uphold a state ban on abortion after 15 weeks’ gestation and possibly to overturn long-standing decisions in support of legalized abortion nationwide.
During a nearly two-hour session, conservative justices questioned the high court’s previous rulings that prohibit bans on abortion before an unborn child is viable in their consideration of Mississippi’s 2018 Gestational Age Act. The high court also pondered at length if it would be appropriate to reverse its own precedent of almost 50 years that struck down all state restrictions on abortion.
The Supreme Court had limited its consideration of the law to whether “all pre-viability prohibitions on elective abortions are unconstitutional.” Viability for an unborn child, or the ability to survive outside the womb, is typically considered to be several weeks after the 15-week limit set by Mississippi’s law.
Mississippi, however, had also asked the high court to overturn the Roe v. Wade opinion of 1973 and the Planned Parenthood v. Casey ruling of 1992, decisions that prohibit states from banning abortions before an unborn child is viable. The Roe decision legalized abortion throughout the country, while Casey affirmed Roe but permitted some state regulation of the procedure. [Read more…]