OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Former Vice President Mike Pence says the U.S. Supreme Court has the chance to correct a “historic wrong” with their looming abortion ruling.
The nation’s highest court will hear a direct challenge out of Mississippi to Roe v. Wade’s landmark holding that the Constitution provides a right of access to abortion.
In remarks at the National Press Club, Pence called the high court’s decision on Roe, which protected a woman’s right to have an abortion, a “misguided” ruling that has harmed millions of unborn children.
“We are asking the Court, in no uncertain terms, to make history. We are asking the Supreme Court of the United States to overturn Roe v. Wade and restore the sanctity of human life to the center of American law,” Pence said.
Pence said the court’s 1973 ruling was a “misguided decision” that has “inflicted a tragedy not only on our nation but on humanity, that is hard to fathom.”
“When the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade — and I believe with all my heart that day will come, either now or in the near future — it will not come as a surprise to anyone,” Pence continued. “It will simply be the culmination of a 50-year journey whose course and destination have been set by the will of the American people.”
This is arguably one of the most cases before the court in at least three decades.
The case presents an attack on the court’s landmark Roe v. Wade ruling in 1973 and a follow-on decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey about two decades later. The court held that a state can impose some restrictions on abortion provided they do not present an “undue burden,” but cannot ban the procedure before fetal viability, generally considered to be 23 to 24 weeks into the pregnancy.
Mississippi said it must be free to take account of advancements in medical knowledge that would shift the point of viability earlier in the pregnancy. But abortion-rights advocates said viability, defined as the time at which a life could be sustained outside the womb, has remained the same since Roe was decided.
In its submissions, Mississippi said the Supreme Court made a fundamental error in its landmark abortion rulings, arguing, “Nothing in constitutional text, structure, history, or tradition supports a right to abortion.” The state also said the court was wrong to rule that state laws outlawing abortion violated a woman’s right to privacy. “Nowhere else in the law does a right of privacy or a right to make personal decisions provide a right to destroy a human life,” it said in its brief to the court.
In a separate case regarding abortion, liberals were angry that the Supreme Court did not issue an opinion last week regarding Texas’ abortion law Monday morning.
Liberals did not contain their outrage:
“John Roberts playing ‘haha made you look’ when it comes to abortion rights is about all you need to know about this Supreme Court. #ExpandTheCourt,” Demand Justice Chief Counsel Christopher Kang tweeted.
“SERIOUSLY. AN ORIGINAL JURISDICTION CASE,” Vox senior correspondent Ian Millhiser tweeted, using the legal term for disputes between states that go directly to the Supreme Court.
“LOLZ at all of us for thinking that the Supreme Court might do something sensible in an abortion case today,” he added. “The Supreme Court is bad, y’all.”
Last month, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor complained not happy about the court refusing to block Texas’ six-week abortion law.
Sotomayor called it “catastrophic” that Texas’ abortion ban law was been stopped.
In a seven-page written rant, Sotomayor not only attacked her conservative colleagues, she sensationally claimed that the court “cannot capture the totality of this harm in these pages.”
In September, abortion advocates and providers in the Lone Star State appealed to the high court to hear their arguments against the Texas law, SB 8, before there was a final judgment in a lower federal court “because of the urgency of the harm” the law allegedly causes.
Senate Bill 8, signed into law in May, bars abortions in the state after fetal heart tones are detected, generally around six weeks. It empowers private citizens to sue anyone involved in providing an abortion after the establishment of heart tones.