Intended for healthcare professionals


US Supreme Court seems likely to accept Mississippi law that would limit abortion

BMJ 2021; 375 doi: (Published 02 December 2021) Cite this as: BMJ 2021;375:n2987
  1. Janice Hopkins Tanne
  1. New York

Questions posed by conservative justices of the US Supreme Court during oral arguments on 1 December have indicated the right leaning court may uphold proposed new limits on abortion for American women.

The court’s final decision is expected in June next year.

US president Joe Biden opposes the Mississippi law, according to his press secretary, Jen Psaki, who said on 1 December, “The president believes that the Mississippi law blatantly violates women’s constitutional rights to safe and legal abortions. This case presents a grave threat to women’s fundamental rights, to all our rights—as protected under Roe v Wade for nearly half a century. Every woman, every American, deserves access to healthcare, including reproductive healthcare, and the president is deeply committed to the constitutional right.”1

The nine justices heard arguments on a Mississippi law that would ban abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy with no exception for rape or incest. The Mississippi law would also overturn Roe v Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalised abortion until “fetal viability,” considered to be 23-24 weeks.

Another Supreme Court decision, the 1992 Planned Parenthood v Casey ruling, allowed …

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