The US supreme court this week heard oral arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson, the Mississippi case that challenges Roe v. Wade by arguing that abortion after 15 weeks is unconstitutional.
If the Supreme Court sides with Mississippi, it will effectively overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that legalised abortion in the United States.
While it is rare for the Supreme Court to overturn its own precedent, it has happened in the past, a famous example being the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education ruling which ended segregation. Very close attention was paid this week to the utterances of Supreme Court justices when they spoke during the hearings. Particular note was made of Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s remarks where he cited and defended previous examples in which the court overturned precedent.
It was a very historic week for members of the pro-life movement in the US who have campaigned for close to 50 years to bring about a situation where the rights of unborn babies could once again be protected. There was a huge pro-life presence outside the court on Wednesday and hope was palpable that a positive outcome in the case is possible, after such a long wait and fight for justice. Outside the court, representatives of the pro-life movement talked about how Roe v. Wade had hurt women and did nothing to empower them.
Pro-life media analyst Kathryn Jean Lopez told the gathering on the steps of the Supreme Court: “This case today, Dobbs v. Jackson is about human rights. This case today is about the dignity of women. This case today is about saving lives. This case today is about declaring that women deserve better than the misery and brutality of abortion. It is only euphemisms that keep us from realising the grave evil that is Roe v. Wade. We pray today that the court comes to its senses and does the right thing and puts an end to Roe v. Wade which is the real war on women – moms – and their children and families.”
The decision in Dobbs v. Jackson will have huge ramifications for the right to life of unborn babies. The make-up of the Supreme Court has undergone enormous changes in recent years and currently sits at a 6-3 conservative majority.