On Abortion, Mississippi Swings For The Fences, Asks The Supreme Court To Reverse Roe

US

NPR 23 July, 2021 - 11:35am 22 views

The battle is now joined at the U.S. Supreme Court. This week the state of Mississippi formally asked the high court to reverse its landmark 1973 abortion decision, Roe v. Wade, prompting abortion rights defenders to say, in effect, "I told you so."

In May the justices agreed to consider whether state laws that ban pre-viability abortions are unconstitutional. The test case was brought by Mississippi, which has a state law banning abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Like laws in a dozen other states, this one was struck down by the lower courts because it conflicts with the Supreme Court's decision in Roe v. Wade and subsequent high court decisions over the years.

But this week, the state reframed its argument, abandoning its earlier and narrower attack, to take direct aim at Roe and its holding that women have a constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy prior to the fetus being able to survive outside the womb.

Roe and its subsequent decisions are "egregiously wrong," the state contended. "the conclusion that abortion is a constitutional right has no basis in text, structure, history or tradition."

Abortion rights defenders promptly seized on the state's brief, noting that until now Mississippi had portrayed its appeal as far more limited.

"Mississippi has said the quiet part out loud. The purpose of its blatantly unconstitutional abortion ban is to have the Supreme Court overrule 50 years of precedent and allow states to ban abortions," said Alexis McGill Johnson, president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. This is not what the American people — 80% of whom support safe, legal abortion — want, and it would deny essential health care primarily to people of color, LGBTQ+ people, and people with low incomes. Planned Parenthood will continue to do all we can to fight back and protect access to reproductive freedom for all."

Read full article at NPR

Mississippi asks US Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade

CNN 23 July, 2021 - 01:10pm

Updated 7:49 PM ET, Thu July 22, 2021

Mississippi asks Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade in upcoming case

The Washington Post 23 July, 2021 - 01:10pm

The court will hear arguments in the case this fall, and both sides in the divisive fight see it as a crucial moment in determining whether and how the court’s 6-to-3 conservative majority might constrain abortion rights.

Mississippi’s Republican attorney general, Lynn Fitch, said in the filing that the court should junk its 1973 ruling in Roe and a subsequent 1992 endorsement of abortion rights in Planned Parenthood v. Casey. That decision said states may not place an undue burden on a woman’s right to choose an abortion before fetal viability, which is generally thought to be after 24 weeks or later.

Roe and Casey are unprincipled decisions that have damaged the democratic process, poisoned our national discourse, plagued the law — and, in doing so, harmed this Court,” the brief states.

“Nothing in constitutional text, structure, history, or tradition supports a right to abortion,” the brief states. And thus states should be free even to ban elective abortions so long as they show the prohibition promotes a legitimate government interest, Fitch writes.

The court, of course, is free to reject the state’s argument, or to decide the case on much narrower grounds. But the brief emphasizes the potential presented in the case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the most direct challenge to abortion rights at the Supreme Court in decades.

Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, said Mississippi was employing an “extreme and regressive strategy” with a goal of outlawing abortion not just in the state, but also across the country.

“If Roe falls, half the states in the country are poised to ban abortion entirely, Northup said in a statement. “Women of child-bearing age in the U.S. have never known a world in which they don’t have this basic right, and we will keep fighting to make sure they never will.”

Northup’s organization represents the Jackson, Miss., organization, the state’s only abortion clinic. Its brief is due at the Supreme Court in September.

The justices privately deliberated for months on whether to review the Mississippi law, which lower courts have not allowed to take effect. The Supreme Court announced in May it was accepting the case to decide “whether all pre-viability prohibitions on elective abortions are unconstitutional.”

That is the line that has been drawn in the court’s precedents, and cited across the country by judges who have struck down state prohibitions one after another that attempted to ban abortions earlier in pregnancy.

“In an unbroken line dating to Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court’s abortion cases have established (and affirmed, and reaffirmed) a woman’s right to choose an abortion before viability,” Judge Patrick E. Higginbotham wrote for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit majority that refused to allow the Mississippi law.

The Supreme Court is likely to hear arguments in November or December. A decision next year would come amid midterm congressional elections.

In a news release Thursday, Fitch said that “it is time for the Court to set this right and return this political debate to the political branches of government.”

In her brief, she says Roe and Casey “shackle states to a view of the facts that is decades out of date.” And she adds: “Abortion jurisprudence has placed this Court at the center of a controversy that it can never resolve.”

The brief says changes in society and science have undermined Roe.

“Today, adoption is accessible and on a wide scale women attain both professional success and a rich family life, contraceptives are more available and effective, and scientific advances show that an unborn child has taken on the human form and features months before viability,” the brief states.

It dismisses the argument that reproductive control is essential to what Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg once called “a woman’s autonomy to determine her life’s course, and thus to enjoy equal citizenship stature.”

Instead, Mississippi’s brief says, “Innumerable women and mothers have reached the highest echelons of economic and social life independent of the right endorsed in” Roe and Casey.

Mississippi passed the law in 2018. It would prohibit abortions after 15 weeks, with narrow exceptions for medical emergencies or severe fetal abnormality. (The state also has a court-blocked law restricting abortions after six weeks, and a so-called trigger provision that would prohibit abortion should Roe be overturned.)

The provisions are targeted to a court seemingly more skeptical of its abortion jurisprudence.

Last term, the court struck down a Louisiana law that targeted abortion clinics on a 5-to-4 vote, with Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. siding with the court’s liberals. It was the first time the chief justice had struck an abortion restriction, but Roberts said his vote was only to honor precedent — the court just several years earlier struck down a nearly identical Texas law.

Ginsburg, who was part of both majorities, died in September. She has been replaced by Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who has made her personal opposition to abortion clear and who as a law professor criticized Roe.

President Donald Trump predicted all three of his nominees to the court would oppose Roe. Justices Neil M. Gorsuch and Brett M. Kavanaugh voted to allow the Louisiana law to go into effect.

Still, overturning a precedent as deeply ingrained in the public as Roe is a major request.

As an alternative, Mississippi said the court could reduce the heightened scrutiny that abortion laws must meet and find that Mississippi’s law meets legitimate objectives such as protecting the unborn, women’s health or the medical profession.

It could find that not all pre-viability abortions are unconstitutional, the state said, or that the 15-week restriction does not place an undue burden on a substantial number of women.

Studies show that upward of 90 percent of abortions are performed in the first trimester. And the Jackson clinic does not perform abortions after 16 weeks, so the law “reduces by only one week the time in which abortions are available in Mississippi,” the brief said.

Mississippi asks Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade in blockbuster abortion case

USA TODAY 23 July, 2021 - 01:10pm

The state's legal argument is the sharpest framing yet of the dispute as Mississippi engages in a frontal assault on the right to abortion.

A link has been sent to your friend's email address.

A link has been posted to your Facebook feed.

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to consider a major rollback of abortion rights that could reverse nearly 50 years of rulings, saying it will decide later this year whether states can ban abortions before a fetus can survive outside the womb. (May 17) AP Domestic

WASHINGTON – Mississippi officials pressed the Supreme Court to overturn its landmark Roe v. Wade decision as an expected flurry of written arguments got underway Thursday in one of the most closely watched abortion cases in years.

The high court agreed in May to hear a challenge to Mississippi's ban on most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, giving its new, six-member conservative majority a chance to roll back the 1973 ruling that women have a constitutional right to abortion.

In their sharpest framing of the blockbuster dispute since the appeal was filed at the Supreme Court more than a year ago, Mississippi noted the text of the Constitution does not mention abortion and argued that adherence to Roe was "dangerously corrosive to our constitutional system."

A 7-2 majority concluded in Roe that women have the right to an abortion during the first and second trimesters but that states could impose restrictions in the second trimester. Years later, in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the court allowed states to ban most abortions at viability, the point at which a fetus can survive outside the womb – roughly 24 weeks.

"Roe and Casey are egregiously wrong," lawyers for Mississippi told the court Thursday. "The conclusion that abortion is a constitutional right has no basis in text, structure, history, or tradition."

It does, however, have a basis in recent precedent. Courts – especially the Supreme Court – are hesitant to overturn past decisions because the principle of stare decisis, adherence to earlier decisions, gives stability and certainty to the law.

Since Chief Justice John Roberts joined the court in 2005, the justices have been especially hesitant to second-guess the decisions of their predecessors. Roberts has frequently argued the importance of precedent even in the abortion context, joining the court's liberals last year to strike down a Louisiana restriction on abortion clinics because it was so similar to a Texas law that the court had invalidated years earlier. 

The high court, Roberts wrote last year, must "treat like cases alike."

And that's an argument abortion rights groups are reinforcing again.

Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights, said the state's brief "reveals the extreme and regressive strategy, not just of this law, but of the avalanche of abortion bans and restrictions that are being passed across the country." She said the state was "stunningly" asking the court to overturn five decades of precedent.   

"If Roe falls, half the states in the country are poised to ban abortion entirely," said Northup, whose group represents Mississippi's sole remaining abortion clinic, Jackson Women's Health Organization.

Attorneys for the clinic that sued to block the law will submit their written argument in September. The court could hear oral arguments this fall and will likely hand down a decision in the spring or summer of next year. 

Mississippi approved its prohibition in 2018, making it one of 16 states with pre-viability bans blocked by federal courts, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a research group that supports abortion rights. The law has no exception for rape or incest but allows abortions for medical emergencies and "severe fetal abnormality."

Rather than overturning Roe directly, the justices could take a more narrow approach and jettison the viability threshold, which Mississippi argues is arbitrary and changes with medical technology. But that would raise the same question that has vexed the Supreme Court for decades: Where to draw the line between a state's interest in protecting a fetus and a woman's right to reproductive autonomy. 

Some states have tried to ban most abortions at the point a fetal heartbeat is detected, about 6 weeks. Others have sought to ban abortion at conception. Earlier this week, a federal judge temporarily blocked enforcement of an Arkansas law, which was set to take effect July 28, that would have banned nearly all abortions.

More than 92% of abortions in the U.S. in 2018 occurred in the first 13 weeks of pregnancy, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Despite predictions that a more conservative Supreme Court would move rapidly to the right, the court's term that wrapped up this month offered a more nuanced picture. The outcomes in major voting rights, immigration and religious freedom disputes often aligned with the conservative viewpoint, by frequently did so more incrementally than some had forecast. That's partly because the court's six conservatives did not always vote in lockstep. 

Though Roberts is no longer the swing vote, he nevertheless appeared to build coalitions this year between conservatives and liberals. Assuming Roberts lands in the majority in Dobbs, experts said, he could attempt to replicate that approach by crafting an opinion that undercuts Roe without directly overturning it.

The justices spent months deciding whether to take the case, an unusually long time that suggested deep divisions on the nine-member bench.

A federal district court in Mississippi struck down the state ban in 2018 and the New Orleans-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit upheld that decision in 2019, finding that the law was "facially unconstitutional because it directly conflicts with" prior Supreme Court precedent. 

But Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony List, described the court's abortion jurisprudence as "hopelessly unworkable" and "ungrounded in history or facts."

A link has been posted to your Facebook feed.

© 2021 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Satellite Information Network, LLC.

Texas's new proposal shows why abortion law is a mess in America

The Economist 23 July, 2021 - 01:10pm

Your browser does not support the <audio> element.

The law could ensnare innumerable people, from employees of insurance companies to pregnancy counsellors and friends and relatives. A lawsuit that seeks to block the law, filed in a federal district court in Austin on July 13th by clinic operators and groups that help poor women pay for terminations, also includes pastors who worry that counselling a pregnant woman who then goes on to have an abortion could put them in legal jeopardy.

Early-abortion bans are straightforwardly unlawful. Roe and subsequent Supreme Court rulings say abortion on demand (that is, for any reason) should be accessible until a baby is viable (from around 24 weeks). Over the past couple of years, as around a dozen states have introduced “heartbeat” bills, courts have blocked them, sometimes within days.

But Texas’s new law has been designed to sidestep this process. Usually, opponents of laws that restrict abortion access sue state officials who would enforce them. Because Texas’s heartbeat law would be enforced by private civil action alone, there is no obvious party to sue. Instead, its challengers are suing a broad range of defendants who could be involved in enforcement, including trial judges, county clerks and health officials.

It is not clear how this legal strategy will work. Julie Murray, a lawyer with Planned Parenthood, the biggest provider of abortions in America, says it is hard to imagine federal judges allowing an unconstitutional law to take effect. Some clinic operators say they worry that, for a court to block it, they will have to wait until the law comes into force and someone sues.

In the meantime, they say, the law is causing great distress. Amy Hagstrom Miller, the founder and chief executive of Whole Women’s Health, which runs four abortion clinics in Texas, says staff are having to reassure patients that abortion is still legal in the state. The workers themselves are terrified, she adds, that from September they could be sued for doing their jobs. People who work in clinics do not find it difficult to imagine protesters who yell at women as they arrive for abortions turning into furious litigators.

Most Texans, like most Americans, do not want to ban abortions early in pregnancy. Few, presumably, would want to see this right shot down via private lawsuit. That a law encouraging such a thing should have been passed reflects in part the rightward lurch taken by Texas’s legislature. It also suggests that as the state becomes younger and more liberal there remain pockets of strong support for extreme anti-abortion measures. In May voters in Lubbock, a city in a solidly Republican county, approved a “sanctuary city for the unborn” ordinance giving individuals the ability to sue to enforce an abortion ban. In June, after Planned Parenthood, which has a clinic in Lubbock, sued, a federal judge dismissed the case. Planned Parenthood has since stopped performing abortions in the city. It continues to litigate the case.

Texas’s new law is also part of a mounting push to impose stringent abortion restrictions across America. Emboldened by the Supreme Court’s conservative super-majority, which seems more likely to uphold restrictive abortion regulations, pro-life lawmakers have passed a record number so far this year. The Guttmacher Institute, an abortion-rights group that tracks state-level regulations, says 90 abortion restrictions have come into force in the first six months of 2021, compared with the previous record of 89 in the whole of 2011.

The result of all this is a broken system. America has one of the most permissive national abortion laws in the world: of 59 countries that allow abortion on demand, it is one of only seven that allow it after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Yet six states have only one clinic left and in a handful more women must travel hundreds of miles to find a clinic. This seems to intensify polarisation on the issue. Pro-life activists, who believe abortion is murder, focus on the regulations that the courts did not uphold. “People are frustrated…they’re trying to show the courts they’ve had enough,” says Joe Pojman, founder of Texas Alliance for Life. Abortion-rights activists and progressive lawmakers, meanwhile, are pushing hard in the opposite direction. At least seven states now have no laws governing when or for what reason a woman may have an abortion.

Meanwhile, campaigners on both sides are watching the Supreme Court. In May it said it would review a law in Mississippi that would ban most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy and examine whether “all pre-viability prohibitions on elective abortions are unconstitutional”. This suggests the court could substantially weaken Roe. If it does, it could be up to states to make their own laws: days after the justices’ announcement, Texas passed a law that would ban all abortions if that happened. It is one of more than ten states to have such a “trigger law”. Whatever the court decides, the gulf between conservative and progressive states seems certain to widen.

This article appeared in the United States section of the print edition under the headline "Lubbock or leave it"

‘The Right to End Pregnancies’ | National Review

National Review 23 July, 2021 - 11:15am

Though most of the piece is refreshingly bias-free, Court reporter and commentator Adam Liptak does wield one odd turn of phrase:

The court will hear arguments in the case in the fall, giving its newly expanded conservative majority a chance to confront what may be the most divisive issue in American law: whether the Constitution protects the right to end pregnancies. [Emphasis added]

As Liptak surely knows, women in the United States have always had “the right to end pregnancies,” or at least the ability do so, and they’ll retain that ability regardless of what happens in Dobbs. The most conventional way of “ending pregnancy,” after all, is simply to give birth.

The question in Dobbs — as in every debate over abortion regulations — isn’t about ending pregnancy; it’s about ending the life of a unique human organism. The Court isn’t considering whether the Constitution permits a woman to “end pregnancy” but rather whether it grants her the right to intentionally kill the unborn human being developing inside her.

Though an abortion procedure does indeed “end a pregnancy,” it does so in a violent and immoral way — and that’s the whole point.

Mississippi files paperwork arguing the US Supreme Court should overturn Roe v. Wade

WYFF Greenville 23 July, 2021 - 10:48am

Stay up to speed on all the latest local and national political news.

The U.S. Supreme Court should overturn its landmark 1973 ruling that legalized abortion nationwide and let states decide whether to regulate abortion before a fetus can survive outside the womb, the office of Mississippi's Republican attorney general argued in papers filed Thursday with the high court.

"Under the Constitution, may a State prohibit elective abortions before viability? Yes. Why? Because nothing in constitutional text, structure, history, or tradition supports a right to abortion," Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch and four of her attorneys wrote in the brief.

The arguments are a direct challenge to the central finding of the court's 1973 Roe v. Wade decision and its 1992 decision in a Pennsylvania abortion case. Both rulings said states may not put an undue burden on abortion before viability. The Mississippi attorneys argue that the rulings are "egregiously wrong."

The Mississippi case is the first big abortion-rights test in a Supreme Court reshaped with three conservative justices nominated by former President Donald Trump.

A 6-3 conservative majority, with the three Trump nominees, said in May that the court would consider arguments over a Mississippi law that would ban abortion at 15 weeks. Justices are likely to hear the case this fall and could rule on it in the spring.

Nancy Northup is president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, which is defending Mississippi’s only abortion clinic in its challenge of the 15-week ban. She said Thursday that half of the states are poised to ban abortion altogether if Roe v. Wade is overturned.

"Today’s brief reveals the extreme and regressive strategy, not just of this law, but of the avalanche of abortion bans and restrictions that are being passed across the country," Northup said in a statement. "Their goal is for the Supreme Court to take away our right to control our own bodies and our own futures — not just in Mississippi, but everywhere."

Republican lawmakers in several states have been pushing laws designed to challenge Roe v. Wade, including bans on abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected, as early as six weeks.. A federal district judge on Tuesday blocked an Arkansas law that would ban most abortions, ruling that the law is "categorically unconstitutional" because it would ban the procedure before the fetus is considered viable.

The Mississippi 15-week law was enacted in 2018, but was blocked after a federal court challenge. The state’s only abortion clinic, Jackson Women's Health Organization, remains open and offers abortions up to 16 weeks of pregnancy. Clinic director Shannon Brewer has said about 10% of its abortions there are done after the 15th week.

More than 90% of abortions in the U.S. take place in the first 13 weeks of pregnancy, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Mississippi clinic has presented evidence that viability is impossible at 15 weeks, and an appeals court said that the state "conceded that it had identified no medical evidence that a fetus would be viable at 15 weeks." Viability occurs roughly at 24 weeks, the point at which babies are more likely to survive.

Mississippi argues that viability is an arbitrary standard that doesn’t take sufficient account of the state’s interest in regulating abortion.

The Mississippi law would allow exceptions to the 15-week ban in cases of medical emergency or severe fetal abnormality. Doctors found in violation of the ban would face mandatory suspension or revocation of their medical license.

"That law rationally furthers valid interests in protecting unborn life, women’s health, and the medical profession’s integrity. It is therefore constitutional," the Mississippi attorney general's office wrote in its Thursday filing.

The attorney who will make Mississippi's oral arguments before the Supreme Court is the state solicitor general, Scott G. Stewart, a former clerk for Justice Clarence Thomas.

Also in the filing Thursday, the Mississippi attorneys wrote that if the Supreme Court does not overturn the standard that abortion restrictions should face heightened-scrutiny, the court "should at minimum hold that there is no pre-viability barrier to state prohibitions on abortion and uphold Mississippi’s law."

The Mississippi attorneys wrote that circumstances for women have changed since the 1973 and 1992 Supreme Court rulings.

"Today, adoption is accessible and on a wide scale women attain both professional success and a rich family life, contraceptives are more available and effective, and scientific advances show that an unborn child has taken on the human form and features months before viability," the Mississippi attorneys wrote. "States should be able to act on those developments."

Hearst Television participates in various affiliate marketing programs, which means we may get paid commissions on purchases made through our links to retailer sites.

Mississippi asks Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade

Yahoo News 22 July, 2021 - 07:21pm

The case for overturning the two main decisions that legalized abortion in the U.S. — Roe v. Wade in 1973 and a later case, 1992's Planned Parenthood v. Casey — is overwhelming, the state said. "The conclusion that abortion is a constitutional right has no basis in text, structure, history, or tradition," it said.

By ruling that a state may not impose an undue burden on a right to abortion, the Supreme Court has placed itself "at the center of a controversy that it can never resolve."

The state is appealing lower court rulings that struck down a law banning most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. The law, the Gestational Age Act, would allow later abortions only in medical emergencies or cases of severe fetal abnormality.

When the state asked the court to take up its appeal last year, it said hearing the issues raised in its appeal "do not require the court to overturn either Roe or Casey," adding: "They merely ask the court to reconcile a conflict in its own precedents." But in Thursday's filing, Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch said the Roe and Casey rulings were "egregiously wrong."

Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights, said the state's brief "reveals the extreme and regressive strategy, not just of this law, but of the avalanche of abortion bans and restrictions that are being passed across the country."

"Their goal is for the Supreme Court to take away our right to control our own bodies and our own futures — not just in Mississippi, but everywhere," she said.

The court agreed in May to hear the case, which will be argued in the fall, most likely in November or December.

Morgan Wallen says he donated $500K to Black advocacy groups after album sales skyrocketed following the racial slur incident.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is sticking with its guidance for now that only unvaccinated people need to wear masks to be safe -- and that vaccinated people are OK to go without, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky told reporters on Thursday. Walesnky's comments follow reports by report ">The Washington Post and CNN that the Biden administration is considering another revision on masks in light of the rapidly spreading delta variant. Walensky said "we are always looking at the data as the data come in."

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, possibly mulling a 2024 White House bid, is making her debut in South Carolina next month — an introductory step in the first Southern state to cast Republican-primary votes for president. Noem will speak Aug. 23 at the “Faith & Freedom BBQ” in Anderson, the event's host, U.S. Rep. Jeff Duncan, told The Associated Press on Friday. According to Duncan, who represents South Carolina's 3rd District, the event is the state's largest annual gathering of Republicans.

Washington state health officials have urged consumers not to eat locally harvested raw oysters and other shellfish after an outbreak of intestinal disease caused by bacteria that multiplied rapidly after a recent “heat dome” baked the Pacific Northwest. State health officials said that recent high temperatures and low tides were most likely to blame for the outbreak of the disease, vibriosis, which has sickened at least 52 people this month, the most ever recorded in July. The disease — which u

Shaun Weiss, who played Greg Goldberg, graduated from a drug court program.

The Tampa Bay Rays are adding one of the league's best hitters.

Fans immediately took to social media to celebrate the historic night.

“Everyone needs to realize that this is not just another wave like we saw before,” the lead infectious disease physician at Mercy Hospital Springfield said.

Shark expert whose groundbreaking camerawork was featured in Spielberg classic talks her own close encounters with the misunderstood fish. Plus, put a 3D shark in your house.

The Shirtless Tongan Flag Bearer had some competition this time in Tokyo.

Former female employees of Activision Blizzard (ATVI) are coming forward after a California state agency filed a civil rights lawsuit against the gaming giant alleging widespread sexual harassment and gender and racial discrimination.

Nearly 600 Team USA members submitted their vaccination status.

The order directs the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to issue rules that would allow bank customers to download their banking data and take it with them.

From flowy dresses to puffy sandals, many of the best trends of the season are already on sale, starting at just $28.

It’s all speaking to a national vaccine controversy that is making its way into NFL locker rooms. It's something Elliott said he understands, despite his choice to get the shot.

Republican governors axing federal jobless benefits have ignored legitimate hardships in their states as millions of displaced workers try to get back on their feet.

PASADENA, Calif. - Los Angeles County's new mask mandate is infuriating officials in the sprawling region, leading to angry denunciations as some irate local leaders demand resignations and threaten to cut ties and form their own public health departments. "The county cannot handle our current situation," said Councilman Tony Wu of West Covina, a town of about 110,000 in the eastern part of the county. "We are absolutely not going to enforce nothing about this BS."Subscribe to The Post Most news

The decision to rejoin came just hours before the opening ceremony in Tokyo.

Yes, the summer cold and cough season really is worse than usual. “I’ve had bad colds, but I’ve never experienced a virus like this,” said Holly Riddel, 55, an entrepreneur in Redondo Beach, California, who has been suffering from congestion, clogged ears and a raspy throat for about two weeks. “I want this gone. I haven’t been able to work out. I’m just not feeling like myself.” Months of pandemic restrictions aimed at COVID-19 had the unintended but welcome effect of stopping flu, cold and oth

Gov. Kay Ivey also called out right-wing media disinformation about the vaccine.

Mississippi legal brief argues "nothing" in Constitution supports "right to abortion"

Newsweek 22 July, 2021 - 04:09pm

"Under the Constitution, may a State prohibit elective abortions before viability? Yes. Why? Because nothing in constitutional text, structure, history, or tradition supports a right to abortion," Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch and four of her attorneys said in the brief.

The Mississippi filing is a test for both the 1974 Roe v. Wade and 1992 Pennsylvania decisions by the Supreme Court, which ruled that states couldn't place an "undue burden" on abortion before the fetus can survive outside the womb. In the brief, the attorneys claim that these decisions were "egregiously wrong."

A 6-3 conservative majority, with the three Trump nominees, said in May that the court would consider arguments over a Mississippi law that would ban abortion at 15 weeks. Justices are likely to hear the case this fall and could rule on it in the spring.

Abortion rights supporters have said that if justices uphold the Mississippi law, that could clear the way for states to enact more restrictions on the procedure, including bans on abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected, as early as six weeks.

Republican lawmakers in several states have been pushing laws designed to challenge Roe v. Wade. A federal district judge on Tuesday blocked an Arkansas law that would ban most abortions, ruling that the law is "categorically unconstitutional" because it would ban the procedure before the fetus is considered viable.

The Mississippi 15-week law was enacted in 2018 but was blocked after a federal court challenge. The state's only abortion clinic, Jackson Women's Health Organization, remains open and offers abortions up to 16 weeks of pregnancy. Clinic director Shannon Brewer has said about 10 percent of its abortions there are done after the 15th week.

More than 90 percent of abortions in the U.S. take place in the first 13 weeks of pregnancy, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Mississippi clinic has presented evidence that viability is impossible at 15 weeks, and an appeals court said that the state "conceded that it had identified no medical evidence that a fetus would be viable at 15 weeks." Viability occurs roughly at 24 weeks, the point at which babies are more likely to survive.

Mississippi argues that viability is an arbitrary standard that doesn't take sufficient account of the state's interest in regulating abortion.

The Mississippi law would allow exceptions to the 15-week ban in cases of medical emergency or severe fetal abnormality. Doctors found in violation of the ban would face mandatory suspension or revocation of their medical license.

"That law rationally furthers valid interests in protecting unborn life, women's health, and the medical profession's integrity. It is therefore constitutional," the Mississippi attorney general's office wrote in its Thursday filing.

The attorney who will make Mississippi's oral arguments before the Supreme Court is the state solicitor general, Scott G. Stewart, a former clerk for Justice Clarence Thomas.

Also in the filing Thursday, the Mississippi attorneys wrote that if the Supreme Court does not overturn the standard that abortion restrictions should face heightened-scrutiny, the court "should at minimum hold that there is no pre-viability barrier to state prohibitions on abortion and uphold Mississippi's law."

The Mississippi attorneys wrote that circumstances for women have changed since the 1973 and 1992 Supreme Court rulings.

"Today, adoption is accessible and on a wide scale women attain both professional success and a rich family life, contraceptives are more available and effective, and scientific advances show that an unborn child has taken on the human form and features months before viability," the Mississippi attorneys wrote. "States should be able to act on those developments."

Sign-up to our daily newsletter for more articles like this + access to 5 extra articles

Daily news headlines & detailed briefings enjoyed by half a million readers.

US Stories