Center for American Progress

STATEMENT: U.S. Supreme Court Takes Up Pre-Viability Abortion Ban Case in Major Threat to Abortion Rights
Press Statement

Washington, D.C. — Today, the U.S. Supreme Court announced it would take up a challenge to Mississippi’s ban on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. The case comes as dozens of states have recently enacted or are considering bans and restrictions on abortion care. It is also the first major abortion-related case since both Justice Brett Kavanaugh and Justice Amy Coney Barrett joined the court. Jamille Fields Allsbrook, director of women’s health and rights at the Center for American Progress, released the following statement:

The Supreme Court’s decision to take up Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban represents a direct threat to Americans’ constitutional right to safe and legal abortion as established under Roe v. Wade nearly 50 years ago—and reaffirmed by the court in Casey 30 years ago. If the court sustains Mississippi’s ban, it would open the floodgates to further restrictions and send a clear signal to politicians all over the country that women and other birthing people can’t be trusted to make their own personal health care decisions.

The stakes could not be higher. Not only is abortion care too difficult to access in many regions of the country—particularly for people of color and people living in the South and Midwest, but pre-viability bans also pose a specific threat to pregnant people’s health given that many do not know that they are pregnant until well into their first term. Further, some may be unable to access an abortion before the ban as they navigate resources, save money, or make travel arrangements to access an abortion.

Multiple states have statutes that would effectively terminate abortion rights if the Supreme Court reverses Roe, making today’s announcement an important reminder that policymakers must be proactive in protecting them and confirming judges who recognize the constitutional right to abortion to federal and state courts.

For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, please contact Colin Seeberger at [email protected] or 202-741-6292.