Opinion — Protecting unborn life
Published 6:00 am Wednesday, December 8, 2021
The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments on Wednesday in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson, which will determine whether Mississippi’s post 15-week abortion ban is constitutional or not.
The case marks the first real challenge to Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the two cases which have provided the current legal framework for what states can and cannot do regarding abortion.
Two hallmarks of these rulings are the 24-week viability limit, after which states can enact bans on abortion, and the “undue burden” test, which says that restrictions on abortion cannot survive if they place an undue burden on the woman seeking it. Mississippi’s law bans abortions after 15 weeks – in contravention of the current precedent following Casey.
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Much of the argument on Wednesday centered around stare decisis, literally ‘let the decision stand,’ a doctrine which holds that courts should respect the holding of previous decisions.
Opponents of the Mississippi law argued that the stare decisis requires that older decisions be left to stand, even if they were decided incorrectly. Only seven countries in the world allow elective abortion after 20 weeks: North Korea, China, Vietnam, Canada, Singapore, the Netherlands and the U.S. The case is expected to be decided in June, near the end of the court’s current term. In Virginia, the most recent emphasis has not been on the prohibition of early abortion, but the expansion of access to late term abortion. In 2019, House Democrats attempted to pass a bill that would have allowed abortion up until the moment of birth. House Republicans blocked that legislation, but the former Democratic majority did all they could to weaken protections for the unborn. They have also opened the door for taxpayer funding of abortion, a practice that was banned at the Federal level by the Hyde amendment. Regardless of the arguments today, nothing will change until the court issues its decision next year. House Republicans are pro-life and remain committed to the protection of innocent life.
As your delegate, I will continue the fight for the unborn and vote to always protect life. I have a perfect 100% A+ pro-life rating with the Family Foundation that will not be changing now or in the time to come.
DEL. TOMMY WRIGHT can be reached via email at DelTWright@House.Virginia. gov or (804) 698-1061.