Chief Justice John Roberts Wednesday questioned the lawyer challenging a Mississippi abortion law about why its ban on abortion after 15 weeks doesn’t give women enough time to choose to terminate a pregnancy.

“If you think that the issue is one of choice — that women should have a choice to terminate their pregnancy — that supposes that there is a point at which they’ve had the fair choice, opportunity to choice,” Roberts said. “And why would 15 weeks be an inappropriate line? Viability, it seems to me, doesn’t have anything to do with choice. But if it really is an issue about choice, why is 15 weeks not enough time?”

Center for Reproductive Rights lawyer Julie Rickelman replied that changing the standard for when states can ban abortions would create a slippery slope.

“The state has conceded that some women will not be able obtain an abortion before 15 weeks and this law will bar them from doing so,” she said. “Without viability, there will be no stopping point. States will rush to ban abortion at virtually any point in pregnancy.”

Roberts, however, said that most other countries ban abortion after 15 weeks, and that the U.S. is in the company of North Korea and China in allowing late-term abortions.

Center for Reproductive Rights lawyer Julie Rikelman said Wednesday at Supreme Court oral arguments over a Mississippi abortion law that abortion is critical for a woman’s rights and participation in society.

“Mississippi’s ban on abortion two months before viability is flatly unconstitutional under decades of precedent,” she said in her opening statement. “Preserving a woman’s right to make this decision until viability protects her liberty while logically balancing the other interests at stake… Eliminating or reducing the right to abortion will propel women backwards.”

Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh asked the lawyer defending a Mississippi law restricting abortion Wednesday whether the Supreme Court can ban abortion — and the lawyer said it can’t.

“To be clear, you’re not arguing that the court somehow has the authority to itself prohibit abortion or that this court has the authority to order the states to prohibit abortion, as I understand it? Correct?” Kavanaugh asked Mississippi Solicitor General Scott Stewart.

“As I understand it, you’re arguing that the Constitution’s silent and therefore neutral on the question of abortion. In other words, that the Constitution’s neither pro-life nor pro-choice?” Kavanaugh said.,51371221.html,51371483.html–176925566/–176925667/–176925721/–176926351/–176925566/–176925667/–176925721/–176926351/–176925566/–176925667/–176925721/–176926351/

Chief Justice John Roberts said Wednesday that he is concerned other precedents of the Supreme Court will be at risk if the court overturns Roe v. Wade.

“There are a lot of cases around the time of Roe, not of that magnitude, but the same type of analysis that that went through exactly the sorts of things we today would say were erroneous,” Roberts said. “If we look at it from today’s perspective, it’s going to be a long list of cases that we’re going to say were wrongly decided.”

Mississippi Solicitor General Scott Stewart replied that “other controversial areas, or once controversial areas, are quite settled, clear rules, and don’t have those considerations against them.”

The court “won’t have to go down that road,” he added.

Posted by Tyler Olson
35 min(s) ago
Sotomayor slams political ‘stench’ of efforts to overturn Roe
Justice Sonia Sotomayor said Wednesday in oral arguments over a Mississippi abortion law that she’s concerned about a political “stench” that may linger if the court overturns Roe v. Wade.

“Will this institution survive the stench that this creates in the public perception that the Constitution and its reading are just political acts? I don’t see how it is possible,” she said, regarding the possibility of the court overturning Roe v. Wade.

“I think the concern about appearing political makes it absolutely imperative that the court reach a decision well-grounded in the Constitution,” Mississippi Solicitor General Scott Stewart said.

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