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Brexit may have begun but it is not over, indeed it may never be finished.

Supreme Court plans its next step in officially overturning Roe v. Wade

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The Supreme Court has already effectively overturned Roe v. Wade in Texas with a shadow docket decision rendered in one belated, unsigned paragraph, described by Justice Sonia Sotomayor as “a breathtaking act of defiance—of the Constitution, of this Court’s precedents, and of the rights of women seeking abortions throughout Texas.” But on Dec. 1, the court will hear arguments in its chance to officially overturn Roe across the country.

The case in question is Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the latter being the only licensed abortion facility in Mississippi, and centers on a Mississippi law banning abortion after 15 weeks except “in medical emergencies or for severe fetal abnormality.” The law was passed in 2018 but blocked by the courts. Then the Supreme Court deliberated for eight months over whether to even take the case—and by ultimately doing so, sent a message about its intentions, intentions that Texas Republicans quickly absorbed and acted on by passing their six-week ban.

Here’s the level of precedent the Supreme Court has signaled its intention to upend by taking the Mississippi case: ”In an unbroken line dating to Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court's abortion cases have established (and affirmed and re-affirmed) a woman's right to choose an abortion before viability.” This characterization comes not from an analyst or advocate but from a panel of judges on the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals. Under all that precedent, “States may regulate abortion procedures prior to viability so long as they do not ban abortions.” And, the appeals court concluded, “the law at issue is a ban.”

Mississippi Republicans are not shy about the plan here. The state’s attorney general has described Roe as “egregiously wrong,” writing, “The conclusion that abortion is a constitutional right has no basis in text, structure, history, or tradition.”

And this is why Senate Republicans held open a Supreme Court seat for nearly a year of then-President Barack Obama’s term and then rammed through a hasty replacement for the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to make possible. But, Rewire News Group’s Jessica Mason Pieklo argues, the end goal isn’t just allowing Mississippi (and Texas, and Georgia, and Alabama, and Missouri, and too many others) to ban abortions—as devastating as that would be for the women in those states.

“Because the fight over abortion access is over so much more than abortion access, the anti-choice movement will not stop with overturning Roe v. Wade,” Pieklo writes. “No. There is no universe where ‘sending abortion back to the states’ satisfies these political mercenaries. Their endgame is ‘fetal personhood’ and a complete rollback of sexual privacy rights. Full stop.”

When the case is decided, likely in summer 2022, we can expect another fiery dissent for the ages from Sotomayor. But millions of women will lose their health care rights. A long list of states will take the green light to enact more and harsher restrictions on abortion, likely make 2022 even worse than 2021, which was already tied for the second-worst year ever on abortion rights.

And then, before the dust has even settled, far-right lawyers and legislators will already be drawing up the bills to serve as test cases for the next set of rights they want to infringe on.
 
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