Supreme Court to weigh major rollback of abortion rights

Politics

FILE – In this Jan. 22, 2020, file photo, night falls on the Supreme Court in Washington. The Supreme Court is considering whether to hear the case of a Black man who says he suffered discrimination because the N-word was carved into the wall of the hospital elevator where he worked. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

WASHINGTON (KETK/AP) – The Supreme Court on Monday announced that it would consider a major abortion case out of Mississipi, which seeks to abolish the procedure after 15 weeks.

The state’s ban had been blocked by lower courts as inconsistent with Supreme Court precedent that protects a woman’s right to obtain an abortion before the fetus can survive outside her womb.

This follows a bill from East Texas State Sen. Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola) that abolishes elective abortions as early as six weeks, which is when the preborn child’s heartbeat is usually detected. This often happens before women even know they are pregnant.

The Texas Senate passed the bill 18-12 and now heads to Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk, who has promised to sign it.

It would arguably be even more restrictive than the Mississipi bill that the Supreme Court will consider next term. Many state legislatures have considered abortion restrictions since President Trump added three conservative justices to the Supreme Court during his one-term presidency.

The bill’s opponents said that it could open the door to harassing or frivolous lawsuits that could have a “chilling effect” on abortion providers and leave rape crisis counselors, nurses and clinic staff.

The bill makes an exception allowing for abortions in the case of a medical emergency but not for rape or incest. A person who impregnated someone through rape or incest could not sue.

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