Court takes up Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization
WASHINGTON — On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court granted a writ of certiorari in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, an abortion case concerning a Mississippi law passed in 2018.
“We applaud the U.S. Supreme Court for examining the Mississippi law,” said Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life (NRLC). “We know more today about the life of a child in the womb than we did fifty years ago. The medical advances made in our knowledge of unborn children and their care and treatment are astonishing.”
Tobias added, “Today, viability is not a characteristic of the baby but of how advanced our technology has become.”
The question before the High Court in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization is whether all prohibitions on abortions performed pre-viability are unconstitutional.
“But there is, of course, precedent in the Court’s jurisprudence for prohibiting abortions before viability,” said Jennifer Popik, J.D., federal legislative director for NRLC. “The 2003 Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act banned a particular abortion procedure that was used both before and after what is considered viability. It was found to be constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2007.”
Popik noted, “The NRLC-led debate over partial-birth abortions broke new ground in the abortion debate and the constitutional finding by the Court clearly paved the way for future rulings.”
According to the Guttmacher Institute (which enjoys a historical relationship with Planned Parenthood), in 2016, 94.6% of all abortions were performed at 15 weeks of pregnancy or earlier. Guttmacher reported in 2016 that 5.4% took place after 16 weeks of pregnancy. Applying 5.4% to the total numbers reported by Guttmacher for 2016 yields 47,201 abortions.
At 15 weeks of pregnancy, a little boy or girl’s heart has been beating for over two months. Other developmental milestones already reached include:
- At six weeks, brain waves can be detected.
- At seven weeks, the baby is kicking and swimming.
- At week eight, every organ is in place and the baby can begin to hear.
- At weeks nine and ten, teeth begin to form, fingernails develop. The baby can turn her head and frown. The baby can hiccup.
- At week 11, the baby can grasp objects placed in her hand; all organ systems are functioning. The baby also has a skeletal structure, nerves, and circulation.