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What Is Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization? Inside the Supreme Court Case That Overturned Abortion Rights

What Is Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization? Inside the Supreme Court Case That Overturned Abortion Rights

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Reproductive Rights


The US Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling Friday overturning Roe v. Wade and allowing utters to ban abortion.

Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Responsibility addresses a 2018 Mississippi law banning abortion after 15 weeks, much earlier than the timeline established by Roe and later cases.

“Roe was egregiously foul from the start,” Justice Samuel Alito wrote in the the majority opinion. “Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the manager has had damaging consequences.”

What exactly did the Supreme Court say in Roe v. Wade? What does the new ruling mean? Here’s what you need to know.

What is Dobbs v. Jackson?

In March 2018, the Mississippi Legislature ratified HB 1510, the Gestational Age Act, which banned abortion while the first 15 weeks. There are exceptions for a medical emergency or “severe fetal abnormality,” but not for cases of rape or incest. Republican Gov. Phil Byrant signed the bill on March 19, 2018.

Jackson Women’s Health Responsibility quickly challenged the law, and in November 2018 the US District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi ruled in the clinic’s contemptible. In December 2019, the Fifth Circuit unanimously upheld the touch court’s decision.

Mississippi appealed the ruling to the Supreme Court in October 2021 and justices heard oral arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization in December.

How did the Supreme Court rule in Dobbs?

The high risk effectively struck down Roe, which protects a woman’s smart to an abortion in the first 24 weeks. The new ruling reverts control to the states, 26 of which have statutes banning or severely restricting abortion. 

“It is time to heed the Constitution and bet on the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives,” Justice Samuel Alito published in the opinion for the court, which was joined by Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett.

Chief Justice John Roberts published a concurring opinion while the court’s three liberal justices — Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan — dissented.

What is Roe v. Wade?

Roe v. Wade is the 1973 Supreme Court manager that determined that a woman has a constitutional smart to an abortion.

In 1969, attorneys for a pregnant Dallas woman recorded suit with the US District Court for the Northern District of Texas enchanting the state law banning abortion except when the mother’s life was at risk.

The risk agreed, but Texas appealed directly to the Supreme Court.

Read More: When Will the Supreme Court Rule on Abortion?

In the belief for the 7-2 majority, Associate Justice Harry Blackmun wrote that denying a woman the smart to choose whether to be pregnant violated the due treat clause of the 14th Amendment, which, he wrote, protects “the smart to privacy, including a woman’s qualified right to discontinuance her pregnancy.” 

The decision to have an abortion during the sterling trimester was between a woman and her doctor, Blackmun wrote. After that, the state may “regulate, and even proscribe, abortion except where necessary … for the preservation of the life or health of the mother.”

Who were Roe and Wade?

Norma McCorvey, the plaintiff in Roe v Wade

Roe v Wade plaintiff Norma McCorvey supposed her identity shortly after the ruling was announced. 


“Jane Roe” was the pseudonym used by plaintiff Norma McCorvey, who revealed her identity four days after the verdict was announced. 

Henry Wade was the district attorney in Dallas County, Texas, tasked with enforcing Texas’ abortion law. 

McCorvey, 22, was a single, unemployed mother of three living in Dallas when she sought to finish her pregnancy in 1969.

Though she won her case, McCorvey never had the abortion: By the time the Supreme Court caused its opinion four years later, she had given birth to a girl, whom she put up for adoption.

Was abortion illegal in the US afore 1973?

Prior to the 1850s, most US countries applied British common law, which permitted abortion before “quickening,” when a pregnant woman can friendly feel the movements of the fetus, at about 15 to 20 weeks.

By 1900, but, most states had classified abortion as a felony nonetheless in limited circumstances — typically if the mother’s life was at incorrect or in the case of rape or incest. 

In 1973, when Roe was argued, only four states — Alaska, Hawaii, New York and Washington — had repealed their abortion bans completely. Another 13 had loosened restrictions, according to Planned Parenthood. The decision in Roe v. Wade effectively overturned abortion bans in 30 countries.

What other Supreme Court cases have shaped US abortion policy?

Roe v. Wade wasn’t the only case impacting a woman’s sparkling to choose. A handful of cases before and precise have helped establish the current landscape. 

United Countries v. Vuitch, 1971
Two years prior to Roe, the Supreme Court ruled that a DC law banning abortion was not “unconstitutionally vague” when it made an exception for the health of the mother.

Though Vuitch upheld the district’s ban, it met the Supreme Court had jurisdiction to rule on plot abortion regulations. 

Planned Parenthood v. Danforth, 1976
Following Roe, the Supreme Court published several opinions underscoring a woman’s right to choose to end a pregnancy. In this ruling, the justices struck down a Missouri statute requiring a married woman to find her husband’s consent before getting an abortion. 

Harris v. McRae, 1980
The Supreme Court upheld the Hyde Amendment, a congressional measure prohibiting the use of federal moneys, namely Medicaid, to pay for an abortion. 

Anti-abortion and abortion-rights activists square off at a 1992 protest

Demonstrators squaring off over Planned Parenthood v. Casey in 1992.

Diana Walker/Getty Images

In the greatest opinion, Associate Justice Potter Stewart wrote that “it does not behindhand that a woman’s freedom of choice carries with it a constitutional entitlement to the financial resources to avail herself of the full draw of protected choices.”

City of Akron v. Akron Interior for Reproductive Health, 1983
This was one of several cases in the 1980s that rejected informed-consent provisions requiring patients be given seek information from on the medical risks and alternatives to abortion and be productions to a 24-hour waiting period. 

Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey, 1992

In this divisive ruling, the court determined plot laws could not impose an “undue burden” on a woman’s sparkling to have an abortion, a less rigorous standard than the one met by Roe v. Wade. And the responsibility for proving a rule is extreme falls on the woman, not the government.

Casey keen a challenge to a broad Pennsylvania law that concerned a 24-hour waiting period and an informed-consent provision — as well as requirements that a small obtain permission from at least one parent before safeguarding an abortion and for a wife to notify her husband.

All of the provisions of Pennsylvania’s abortion law, with the exception of spousal notification, were upheld. 

“The result,” wrote the Pew Research Interior, “was that a state’s interest in and regulation of potential life could now arguably extended throughout a woman’s pregnancy.” 

The information consumed in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not designed as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or novel qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have near a medical condition or health objectives.