As the US Supreme Court prepares to embark on the most important abortion case in nearly 50 years, Utah Sen. A dozen Republican senators, including Mike Lee, have vowed to return the issue to the states.
Justices will hear arguments Wednesday over Mississippi law banning almost all abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, only in cases of medical emergencies or severe fetal abnormalities.
Case, Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Agency, Roe v. The 1973 landmark decision in Wade is a direct challenge. Planned Parenthood v. 1992 ruling upholding constitutional right to abortion Mississippi asked the court to reverse the case but allowed states to regulate the practice of protecting maternal health and fetal life.
Lee and other GOP senators said at a news conference Tuesday Abolishing the two cases would not only make abortion illegal across the country, but would also allow states to make their own laws regarding the practice.
“This case has not been charged with the Supreme Court deciding to ban, ban, criminalize and outlaw every abortion in the United States. It is not on the table. It doesn’t matter,” Lee said.
“The issue is whether people can, through their elected representatives, decide how to protect human life and the lives of mothers as they see fit.
Mississippi banned most abortions in 2018 after a 15-week pregnancy. The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals held that state restriction is an unconstitutional prohibition on a woman’s right to terminate pregnancy before fetal viability. The Mississippi Supreme Court applied, and agreed to hear the case during its term, which began in October.
In Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution does not allow states to ban abortion before the fetus lives outside the womb. Republican senators say the concept of fetal viability is “made up of whole cloth” and has no basis in the Constitution.
“This is a child. It’s human. It has fingers. It has toes, ”Lee said, pointing to the embryo image at a news conference. “The fact that this child has not taken her first breath does not deny her humanity. Bad things happen when we deny humanity.
Lee said the 1973 Supreme Court ruling allowing abortion was a “graft” on the right not to have a constitution.
“I challenge anyone to identify what the provision does for a person who cannot be protected under state law,” he said. “You cannot take anything that is not protected by the Constitution, it is the right to freedom of speech, the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures, the right to freedom of religion … and it can be called constitutional protection.”
In July, Lee and Sense. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., And Ted Cruz, R-Texas, filed an amicus or friend-of-the-court brief in the Mississippi case, arguing that the current abortion law is “unsustainable.” It permits judges to interpret it according to their own policy preferences, taking power from state legislatures.
The Utah Legislature passed legislation banning abortion after 18 weeks of abortion in 2019. A federal judge will withhold the law until the outcome of the Mississippi case.
Utah’s Planned Parenthood law is unconstitutional, and the state sued the state, arguing that in 18 weeks no fetus was viable and that the ban was a violation of the Supreme Court precedent that had been settled for four decades.
Since that Supreme Court ruling, the lawsuit states that no court has upheld the law banning abortion before it is viable. The Utah bill originally set a statutory abortion limit at 15 weeks gestation, but was revised 18 weeks before the Republican-controlled legislature passed it in mostly party lines.
Utah joined two dozen states briefly before the Supreme Court last July to hear the Mississippi case.
Utah Solicitor General Melissa Holyoak said the state supports the case because “similar to the law of Mississippi, Utah’s law banning elective abortion after 18 weeks is constitutional.”
“Nothing in the Constitution prevents states from implementing reasonable measures to safeguard the dignity of all human beings, including unborn,” he said in July. “The legal challenge to Utah’s law has been withheld until the outcome of the Supreme Court decision, but the Attorney General’s Office continues to uphold Utah’s law strongly.”