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Biden calls on U.S. Supreme Court to protect abortion rights By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO – Storm clouds roll over Washington, U.S.A, September 1, 2021. REUTERS/Tom Brenner

By Lawrence Hurley

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Joe Biden’s administration urged the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday not to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion nationwide in an upcoming case concerning a restrictive Mississippi law.

In its battle against the attempt by the state to prohibit the abortion procedure following 15 weeks, Jackson Women’s Health Organization (the only Mississippi clinic that offers the service) is supported by the administration.

Roev. Wade was mentioned and the 1992 case that confirmed it. “Forcing a woman into a continued pregnancy against her will, is a deep intrusion upon her autonomy, bodily integrity, or equal standing in society.”

A majority of the court’s conservative justices is 6-3 in favor of abortion, and have requested that the court overturn its 1973 ruling.

On Dec. 1, the case will begin, with a decision expected at the end of June.

Prominent women athletes including soccer star Megan Rapinoe also filed a brief on Monday backing the clinic.

The Mississippi lawyers stated in documents filed to the court that Roe V. Wade’s ruling and the 1992 verdict were “egregiously flawed” and should be overturned.

On Sept. 1, the Supreme Court was highlighted for its central role in fighting abortion rights. In a late-night decision, the court allowed a Texas law that bans abortions after six weeks of pregnancy to stay in effect, setting off a firestorm of criticism from abortion rights advocates.

The Biden administration sued Texas on Sept. 9 in a bid to block the measure.

Religious conservatives have long sought to repeal Roe v. Wade. In Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania (Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania) v. Casey in 1992, the court affirmed that ruling and banned laws which place “undue hardship” on women’s right to have an abortion.

Roe v. Wade stated that states cannot ban abortions before the viability and health of the foetus is outside the womb. Doctors generally consider this to be between 24-28 weeks. In 2018, the Mississippi law banned abortion earlier than this. Texas and other states have supported laws banning abortion even earlier than Mississippi.

In 2018, a federal judge ruled against Mississippi after the clinic challenged the ban. New Orleans-based Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reached the same conclusion in 2019.

In 2016, and 2020, the Supreme Court struck down Texas’ restrictive abortion laws. However, new justices appointed in 2017 by Republican ex-President Donald Trump moved the court even further to the right.

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