Roe v. Wade at risk
A new wave of restrictions on abortion is threatening the future of Roe v. Wade and the reproductive rights of every woman in the United States. Later this year, the Supreme Court will hear a case that challenges the constitutionality of Mississippi’s 2018 Gestational Age Act, which bans abortions after 15 weeks except in medical emergencies or in cases of fetal abnormality.
Jackson Women’s Health Organization is the only licensed abortion facility in the entire state of Mississippi, a state of almost three million people. They argue that the law is unconstitutional and in conflict with Roe v. Wade. Now, the case has made its way to the Supreme Court as a test case ultimately deciding “whether all pre-viability prohibitions on elective abortions are unconstitutional.”
A decision is expected by the spring of 2022. With a 6-3 conservative majority on the Court, advocates for choice fear the court will rule in Mississippi’s favor. If they do, it could open the floodgates for future bans before fetal viability.
Women could lose the protections of Roe v. Wade even if it isn’t formally overturned. Currently, women have the right to an abortion without restriction before “fetal viability,” which Roe v. Wade sets at the second trimester. If this standard is eliminated at the federal level, states would be free to pass even more restrictive laws.
Some states aren’t waiting for the Supreme Court to decide. Texas recently introduced a law that prohibits abortions as early as six weeks. Pro-choice advocates are challenging this law, one of the most extreme state abortion restrictions.
If the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade and allows restrictions on abortion earlier in pregnancy, many more states could enact new limits on abortion.
At MSI, we believe that every woman, no matter where she lives, should have access to safe, legal abortion. We’ve seen the consequences of restrictive laws: Women are forced to carry pregnancies they do not want, and some turn to desperate, unsafe options to end their pregnancy.
Instead of stripping women of their right to choose, we should be working to ensure women can make the best decisions for their individual needs.
We believe abortion is a fundamental right, and regardless of the Supreme Court’s decision, we will continue to help women choose their own futures.