The US Supreme Court agreed Monday to hear Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Association, a case that presents the issue of “[w]hether all pre-viability prohibitions on elective abortions are unconstitutional.” The case, which concerns Mississippi’s ban on non-emergency abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, will allow the Supreme Court to reconsider its rulings in Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey.
The petition calls the Supreme Court’s “viability standard” “unsatisfactory,” and argues, quoting former Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, that “potential life is no less potential in the first weeks of pregnancy than it is at viability or afterward.” The petitioners also argue that, due to medical advancements, the line at which viability is drawn continually becomes earlier in the pregnancy. Therefore, a fetus that is not protected against abortion today might be considered viable, and thus protected, after one year of medical advancements.
Petitioners also challenge the “undue burden” test from Casey, which says that a state may not place a “substantial obstacle in the path of a woman seeking abortion before the fetus attains viability.”
In its order list Monday, the Supreme Court also agreed to hear Shinn v. Ramirez, concerning federal habeas corpus, and Badgerow v. Walters, concerning arbitration.