In the Roe v. Wade case that unfolded in 1973, the Supreme Court issued a ruling that legalized abortion in the U.S. as long as it came before viability. Now, Mississippi’s attorney general is trying to have it overturned.
“Under the Constitution, may a State prohibit elective abortions before viability? Yes. Why? Because nothing in constitutional right, structure, history, or tradition supports a right to abortion,” he said in a brief.
General Fitch says the outcome of the Roe v. Wade was “egregiously wrong,” and he wants the Supreme Court to allow a law that would make it illegal to get an abortion at the 15-week mark of pregnancy. Currently, people who are pregnant can get an abortion until around the 24-week mark—a time when a fetus has reached “viability.
Nancy Northup, who is the CEO and president of the Center for Reproductive Rights, strongly opposes Fitch’s argument.
“Today’s brief reveals the extreme and regressive strategy, not just of this law, but of the avalanche of abortion bans and restrictions that are being passed across the country,” she said in a statement today. “Their goal is for the Supreme Court to take away our right to control our own bodies and our own futures — not just in Mississippi, but everywhere.”
This news arrives about 10 months after President Joe Biden—then a Democratic nominee for the presidential office—assured people that he would make Roe v. Wade the “law of the land” if the decision were ever overturned. He answered the question after then President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court justice nominee Amy Coney Barrett, a woman who was known to challenge the decision, were confirmed as a justice (she eventually was).
“We don’t know exactly what she will do, although the expectation is that she may very well move to overrule Roe,” Biden said at the time. “... The only responsible response to that,” he continued, “would be to pass legislation and make Roe the law of the land. That’s what I would do.”