If only Ruth Bader Ginsburg had stepped down in ’14 or ’15 and thereby allowed President Obama to nominate Merrick Garland (or someone similar) to fill her Supreme Court seat, we wouldn’t be in this mess. But she didn’t and here we are with Amy Coney Barrett sitting in Ginsburg’s chair, and Roe v. Wade, it appears, is about to be…well, not exactly struck down but diminished.
As I understand it, Roe v. Wade, which became law in 1973, said that states can’t outlaw abortions for any fetuses before they reach “fetal viability“, or roughly 23 or 24 weeks into a pregnancy.
Jesus, really? Roe says no abortions can be refused until after the fifth month and closer to five and a half? I somehow never quite absorbed this. If a woman decides against having a child, shouldn’t she have it aborted within a few weeks and certainly no later than two or three months, tops? Who waits five months to terminate a pregnancy? That’s fucked.
From “Supreme Court to Hear Abortion Case Challenging Roe v. Wade,” by Adam Liptak:
“The new case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, No. 19-1392, concerns a law enacted by the Republican-dominated Mississippi legislature that banned abortions if ‘the probable gestational age of the unborn human’ was determined to be more than 15 weeks.
“The statute included narrow exceptions for medical emergencies or ‘a severe fetal abnormality.’
“Lower courts said the law was plainly unconstitutional under Roe, which forbids states from banning abortions before fetal viability.
“Mississippi’s sole abortion clinic sued, saying the law ran afoul of Roe and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the 1992 decision that affirmed Roe’s core holding.”
As I understand it, if the Supreme Court upholds Mississippi’s contested abortion law, the new reality would be that all abortions have to happen within 15 weeks. Honestly? That doesn’t sound all that crazy to me. A woman’s right to choose is assured — they’d simply have to abort no later than three and a half (nearly four) months into the pregnancy.