Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Sid Salter: Mississippi abortion case seen as litmus test of Supreme Court in post-Ginsburg era

 Both pro-life and pro-choice Americans focus on a Mississippi abortion rights case that will be the first such case before the Supreme Court since the perceived philosophical stance of the court changed with the 2020 death of liberal Associate Justice Ruth Bade Ginsburg.


Roe v. Wade is the landmark 1973 case out of Texas that has for nearly a half-century legalized abortion by establishing that the Constitution protects a woman’s right to choose to have an abortion. Planned Parenthood v. Casey is the 1992 landmark case out of Pennsylvania that reaffirmed Roe v. Wade and set a test on state abortion laws of “undue burden” - defined as a “substantial obstacle in the path of a woman seeking an abortion before the fetus attains viability.”


The Mississippi case directly challenges both the Roe and Planned Parenthood precedents to defend a 2018 Mississippi law that bans most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. The high court is being asked by Mississippi in the brief already before the court: “Whether all pre-viability prohibitions on elective abortions are unconstitutional.”


After passage by the Mississippi Legislature, the 2018 state law was blocked by the U.S. District Court and the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which led on appeal to Supreme Court review.


On Dec. 1, the court will hear oral arguments in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. “Dobbs” is State Health Officer Thomas Dobbs, of late familiar to Mississippians as the face of the Covid-19 pandemic’s management and named in the case simply by virtue of his job. “Jackson Women’s Health Organization” is the state’s last remaining abortion provider.


What are the stakes of this case concerning the longtime precedent abortion cases Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey? Respected legal journalist Amy Howe of the independent, one of the nation’s best Supreme Court analysts, offered this assessment: 


The case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, was already positioned to be one of the highest-profile arguments of the 2021-22 term because the state (Mississippi) had specifically asked the court to overrule its landmark decisions in Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey and holding that the Constitution protects the right to have an abortion before the fetus can survive outside the womb. But the spotlight on the case became even more intense when the Supreme Court turned down a request to block the enforcement of a Texas law that prohibits abortions after the sixth week of pregnancy.


“The court was deeply divided in the Texas case, with the conservative majority acknowledging that the challengers had ‘raised serious questions regarding the constitutionality of the Texas law.’ But the majority, over dissents by Chief Justice John Roberts and the court’s three liberal justices, nonetheless allowed the Texas law to go into effect while litigation challenging its constitutionality continues in the lower courts.”


Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch said in a statement: “The Court has acknowledged that states have the authority to promote legitimate interests, including protecting women’s health and defending life; but its abortion precedents have denied the people and their elected leaders the ability to fully do so.


“In fact, the Roe decision shackles states to a view of facts that is decades old, such that while science, medicine, technology, and culture have all rapidly progressed since 1973, duly enacted laws on abortion are unable to keep up. With Dobbs, the Supreme Court can return decision-making about abortion policy to the elected leaders and allow the people to empower women and promote life.”


But Planned Parenthood’s Sarah Stoesz said: “As the Supreme Court takes up a case on abortion rights and access, we must remember we all deserve the opportunity to control our lives at the most basic level: our bodies, our families, and our life’s path, including whether and when to become a parent. Americans overwhelmingly support a woman’s right to access safe and legal abortion and do not want to see this right taken away.”


That chain of events is how arguably the most anticipated and impactful case before America’s most powerful court in 2021 originated in Mississippi.



Sid Salter is a syndicated columnist. Contact him at



Anonymous said...

"Pro-choice" is your typical left wing/progressive term that really means Pro-Abortion.

Anonymous said...

The choice is made when the clothes come off.

Krusatyr said...

PPHood: "(Women) deserve the right to control...(their) lives, (their) bodies..."?

Except for less than 1% of pregnancies due to rape or incest, women who choose to have unprotected sex and, with their male partner, thereby procreate a new life with its own DNA, have made their "choice" to be parents.

About one million recreational procreators per year, wanting sex but not the consequence, thence "choose" abortion to cancel their responsibility.

PPHood fails to mention as loudly that abortionists make big bucks by chopping up those unborn babies they kill to sell fetal parts for profit.

Anonymous said...

"Pro-life" is your typical right wing/facist term that really means Pro-Governmental control of women's bodies. Love the fetus, no government handout for the baby..

Anonymous said...

"Pro-Life" is your typical right wing/conservative term that really means "Pro-Mandatory Birth". As in, they don't give a damn about the life of that child it's born.

Anonymous said...

dismembering fetuses in the womb may be the most barbaric act in human history

Anonymous said...

Baby killing, errr, abortion, is big business, and it is NOT women's "health care." That sick immoral industry greases a lot of political palms to stay in busine$$.

Anonymous said...

Selling RUBBERS was illegal 60 ago, and to what end was that so? Obviously the reason is well beyond the comprehension of Mississippi's fundamentalists who long for those GOOD OLE DAYS.

Anonymous said...

You can tell all you really need to know about abortion from the people who pushed abortion on the American people but never ever get abortions themselves. They all have very identifiable names and you can read them for yourself in wikipedia.
Hint: It’s the 1%

Anonymous said...

@11:12 AM - I am raising the BS flag. Condoms were behind the counter, but not illegal, 60-years ago (1962). The Comstock anti-obscenity act was repealed in 1936. That was 86-years ago.

Anonymous said...

Ginsburg actually said years later, concerning the Roe decision, "There were certain people that we didn't want too many of and so that is why it was approved." Wonder who she was talking about?

Anonymous said...

Where were you in the 1960s 11:59?

At that time men's rest rooms all across the country had vending machines offering condoms for 25c to 50c and the most prominent sign on the dispenser was the legal warning that the product was illegal to use for birth control and were solely for the prevention of STDs.

Anonymous said...

@10:22a- Why should there be a handout for the baby?

That's the ENTIRE problem with the liberal mentality. The "I can do whatever I want to do" and "let the government pay for my dumbass choices" is EXACTLY why America is in rapid decline.

I get so sick of the fetus argument as an excuse to kill. If you didn't murder the fetus, what would it become?

If women want complete control of their choices, they shouldn't make ANY choices that have consequences! First and foremost, they should find some self respect and keep their legs together!!

Anonymous said...

12:04 probably the same people uncle Joe talks about...

Anonymous said...

Over 80% of Planned Parenthood abortion clinics are within walking distance of minority neighborhoods.

I know some rabid racists who love Planned Parenthood for this very reason.

Anonymous said...

It's very obvious that more than a few commenters 1) need a course in sex education, including the effective means of preventing pregnancy other than chastity 2) Were clueless if alive prior to Roe v Wade or you'd know pregnancy is a serious health risk to many women 3) that female can get pregnant as young as 9 years old 4) Didn't have a competent teacher in biology or sex education covered adolescence or brain development in adolescences.

You care deeply about cells that have no viability, but you dismiss the pregnant women ( many of whom have children already) who develop life threatening health problems, dismiss that rapists have paternal rights that have to be legally terminated, that incest is more prevalent than you know and involves fathers, step-fathers, siblings and step-siblings, uncles, grandfathers , cousins and can result in genetic issues for the child. You also don't know how legally difficult and costly it remains for a woman to get child support from a male.
And, frankly, you will never acknowledge that the reason so many religions opposed birth control and abortion is they want to grow "the flock". That is also why Nazis wanted women to make more Nazis and encouraged "breeding" . It's about power. It's about make your tribe bigger.

I so wish we'd chat about castrating rapists and pedophiles...oh wait...that's disgusting because they are almost exclusively MALE.

Anonymous said...

Right on, 2:23.

For many, it's not about the non-viable embryo. It's about punishing the woman for having the gall to open her legs. I mean, come on, look at the way she was dressed! She was asking for it!

There's a lot of misogynistic slut-shamers on here.

Anonymous said...

@12:33 PM - In high school, college, and the military. We could purchase condoms in a drug store, but they weren't on a shelf, i.e. you had to ask a clerk for them. There was no government warning.

The BS flag is still flying.

Anonymous said...

So right 2:23 and 3:36. A bunch of males demanding a woman to get an abortion if they were ready for sex but not the consequences. I cannot imagine going back to a clothes hanger as a means to end a pregnancy. It is so easy for others to blame or shame but not take any responsibility. I call the others “males”! When a mother brings a new life into this world there is no one that would care more for that new life. If you leave that’s new life without a mother that can or will care for it we will create a monstrous system that will take advantage of something they never cared about or felt responsible for at all = those in positions of power. How are MS children cared for now? Check out the OliviaY lawsuit against MS!
Women do not expect any person to care for their child. If they are unable to do so they would be making a choice. It is a difficult one that could not be shared with any other, literally. If you take away the choice you must be accountable. MS has proven to will not step up!

Anonymous said...

2:23, 3:36 and 4:06 are a bloodthirsty bunch. How many dead babies must there be before you are sated?

Anonymous said...

8:34 pm
How many already born but now dead women and children and teens and crime victims before you get it ?

You not only don’t know where babies “ come from”, you don’t know where violent criminals murderers “ come from”.

What do you think happens to unwanted children? You think they are adopted? You think the mothers get good prenatal care? More are not adoptable as they are too damaged when released for adoption or too old when freed for adoption, or never released as the objecting parent visits once every 6 months to prevent termination of parental rights. Google “ number of children in foster care. And harder to find is the number who die because parents don’t get them basic medical care soon enough or at all.

One of us tried to help these children . It wasn’t you!

Anonymous said...

Wow @9:25a- Your help is a scary kind of help...

Wouldn't be fabulous if we as citizens sterilized serial offenders when it came to not taking care of their children (mothers and fathers)? Wouldn't it be fabulous if we as citizens didn't view casual sex as so acceptable? Wouldn't it be fabulous if drugs and alcohol weren't so acceptable as "feel good" mechanisms (as they never lead to anything good)?

Swap what it costs to have an abortion with what it costs to adopt and your statistics will flip.

We, as a country, have diluted down the consequences of horrific acts to the point where people like you argue that murdering a child is the answer to irresponsible and abhorrent behavior by adults.

Anonymous said...

Pro Choice and Pro Abortion are two completely separate things. Pro Choice means that I respect your right to make what choice is best for you, and I will make the choice that is best for me. Neither Pro Abortion nor Anti Abortion camps seem to be able to grasp this simple concept.

Also, you want to see lower abortion rates? Make it easier to get a tubal ligation. I mean, I had to jump through hoops to get one for medical reasons because 25 wasn’t old enough to decide for myself that I didn’t want to have another child on top of doctors telling me that I should not have anymore and I wanted an alternative to pills and devices for birth control. And had to agree with the procedure being done in a reversible manner, “just in case”. Having to be some combination of in your 30s / married / have multiple children is completely unreasonable.

Anonymous said...

Bravo 8:20 pm
This senior citizen learned long ago that medical school doesn't seem to teach doctors much beyond mechanics when it comes to women's health.

Nor is an MD a guarantee that the physician is mentally healthy or possessing any practical sense or people skills . It does seem to make some doctors think they are smarter than everyone else and that if anyone had a higher IQ or better grades, they couldn't possibly pick a less lucrative career. Money must be the ONLY measure of success!

Yet, the male doctors, "religious" leaders ( some of whom are virgins) and egotistical law makers who seem not to have learned much from the once loved, now depised celebrities about how good will is maintained, want to be a the moral and medical dictator of every female.

Anonymous said...

@8:20p- Wait… so you’re slick with murdering babies because you had to fight a little for a tubal? I mean, is the baby not entitled to the same fight?

Let’s recap your scenario, you wanted a tubal, and because YOU refuse to use pills and other birth control devices (or abstain from sex since your finished reproducing), you want ALL women to be allowed to selfishly murder babies? Does what you’re saying even click in your brain? Why does what “YOU” want trump the baby’s ability to have ANY CHOICES in life?

I, too, had to “fight” for my tubal at 27. It took a little effort but wasn’t difficult by any means. You could have easily sought care from another doctor if your regular doc was refusing. AT NO POINT, in my mental processing to get my tubal scheduled did I think, this justifies abortions.

Anonymous said...

@156 - never did I say that I refused BC, I wanted an alternative that I felt was best for me. And I went through 3 different doctors to get it. I was on meds that, if I had become pregnant, termination would have been recommended by the dr because of the dangers to me and an unviable pregnancy. All I wanted was the choice to make the best decision for my life and family. If young women could do the same, then they may not ever have to make the decision to terminate a pregnancy. Heck, 20 years later, it took 3 different drs, almost bleeding to death and the possibility of cancer to get a hysterectomy because “what if you want another child?” and “you’re awful young to be wanting this”.

Also, if you feel that sex is only for reproductive purposes, why did you want a tubal? Does your anti abortion stance make you more deserving than me or someone else? I mean, you could have just used BC or abstained from sex since you are done having kids. Does that click in your brain - that your choice was the same as mine and you had to prove that you could make the decision about what was best for your own body?

I never said it justified abortion - just that it could eliminate some abortions. Very different things.

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If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

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