From both sides of the abortion debate, a growing number of predictions are that the U.S. Supreme Court will overturn Roe v. Wade in 2022.
The infamous 1973 abortion ruling made the U.S. one of just a few countries that allows unborn babies to be aborted for any reason up to birth. As a result, about 63 million unborn babies have been killed in abortions in the past five decades.
This week, the left-leaning Los Angeles Times published its prediction under the headline, “Supreme Court’s conservatives on the verge of ending right to abortion.”
“Until this fall, it was at least possible to foresee a moderate-conservative majority coming together to set new limits on abortions later in a pregnancy, while upholding the constitutional protection for a woman to end a pregnancy in the early months,” according to the Times. However, recent court “developments have cast doubt on the prospects for a moderate retreat from full abortion rights.”
Pointing to the justices’ comments in a recent Mississippi abortion case and their rulings on the Texas heartbeat law, the newspaper predicted that Roe v. Wade is doomed.
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The Supreme Court has a 6-3 conservative majority, but Chief Justice John Roberts often sides with the leftist judges on abortion. He is viewed as a moderate, one who may uphold the Mississippi law that bans abortions after 15 weeks but not overturn Roe.
Some speculate that Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett may be more apt to join Roberts in chipping away at Roe rather than overturning it, but the LA Times editors no longer believe this is the case.
The newspaper looked to their decisions about the Texas heartbeat law, which prohibits abortions on unborn babies once their heartbeats are detectable, as a key predictor.
Twice, the justices refused to block the pro-life Texas law, first in September and again on Friday, even though it violates Roe. As a result, the law has been in effect for months, saving thousands of babies’ lives. Kavanaugh and Barrett both joined the majority while Roberts sided with the leftist judges who would have blocked the law.
“Overturning Roe vs. Wade has been a chief goal of the conservative legal movement for decades. Friday’s decision was the latest sign the movement is on the verge of winning,” the newspaper predicted.
The justices’ comments in the Mississippi abortion case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, on Dec. 1 also suggest the court may overturn Roe and allow states to protect unborn babies from abortion again.
According to the LA Times:
… when the court heard arguments in the Mississippi case, only Roberts focused on the 15-week limit. Roe says “women should have a choice to terminate their pregnancy,” he said. “If it really is an issue about choice, why is 15 weeks not enough time?”
The two abortion rights lawyers dismissed the idea. They said the court must maintain the limit of 24 weeks, the point when Roe stated that a fetus may be viable and capable of living outside the womb.
More significant, Kavanaugh and Barrett ignored the issue of the time limit and repeated the arguments for overruling Roe vs. Wade entirely.
In the case, Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch asked the Supreme Court to overturn Roe and allow states to protect unborn babies again or, at the very least, prohibit abortions after 15 weeks as most other countries do. The court likely will give her an answer sometime next spring.
No one can be certain about how the court will rule, but pro-life leaders also have expressed hope that the justices will recognize the injustice of Roe in their ruling on the Mississippi case.
If Roe goes, states will be allowed to protect unborn babies from abortion again, and groups estimate anywhere from a dozen to two dozen states would do so. As a result, hundreds of thousands of babies could be spared from violent abortion deaths every year across America.
Polls consistently show that a majority of Americans support stronger legal protections for unborn babies than what Roe allows, and many support heartbeat laws that protect unborn babies at their earliest stage of life.