NRL News

In Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the U.S. Supreme Court Will Decide Whether State’s Can Protect Unborn Babies Before Viability

by | Dec 1, 2021

National Right to Life, Nation’s Largest and Oldest Pro-Life Organization, Leads the Way in State and Federal Pro-Life Legislation

WASHINGTON – On Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization which concerns Mississippi’s “Gestational Age Act” which bans abortions after 15-weeks gestation. The Court’s decision next year will address the question of whether a state has a compelling interest in protecting the right to life prior to viability.

“The Supreme Court oral arguments today were very encouraging. It is apparent from the questions that a majority of the Court is seriously considering at least rejecting the viability line that currently prohibits prohibitions on abortion prior to viability,” said James Bopp, Jr., National Right to Life Committee’s (NRLC) General Counsel, and author of NRLC’s amicus brief in the case.

“But the key question seems to be how far the Court is willing to go, either a decision that just rejects the viability line, permitting states to argue that prohibitions on abortion prior to viability are justified by sufficiently compelling state interests or if they will issue a broader decision which explicitly either totally or partially overrules Roe and/or Casey. There appears to be several Justices whose questions seemed to favor one path or the other, who would constitute a majority,” said Bopp.

“It is important to remember that either ruling would be a tremendous victory for the pro-life movement, vastly expanding our ability to protect innocent unborn life,” Bopp concluded.

Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life spoke at today’s #EmpowerWomenPromoteLife press conference on the steps of the Supreme Court, saying, “Viability is an ever-changing standard and, therefore, unworkable as the timeline or framework for abortion. For many years, babies were thought to be viable at 28 weeks. Now, babies are generally considered to be viable at 24 weeks, but babies have survived at 21 weeks! Viability is not a characteristic of the baby but of how advanced our technology has become.” 

Tobias continued, “Mississippi seeks to protect from abortion unborn babies after 15 weeks. By that age, preborn children are fully formed. They have heartbeats, fingers and toes, and functioning organs. By eight weeks gestation, brain waves can be recorded. Life has surely begun, and the state has the right, indeed—the duty—to protect it.”

The National Right to Life Committee, the nation’s largest and oldest pro-life group, has successfully led the way over the last 48 years in seeing pro-life, protective legislation passed on both the state and federal levels. National Right to Life is the only national pro-life group with affiliates in all fifty states and over 3,000 local chapters nationwide.

“Regardless of the outcome in Dobbs, National Right to Life and our state affiliates will continue our work on both the state and federal levels to protect unborn babies and their mothers,” said Tobias.

Recognized as the flagship of the pro-life movement, National Right to Life and its state affiliates have led the way in protecting all innocent human life by seeing legislation enacted on the state and federal level that challenges current jurisprudence and educates Americans about the extremism of current abortion law.

“National Right to Life led the debate over partial-birth abortions and pioneered new ground in the abortion debate with the passage of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act,” said Jennifer Popik, J.D., federal legislative director for NRLC. “The legislation banned a particular abortion procedure that was used both before and after what is considered viability.”

Popik continued, “The Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act was found to be constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2007 and provides precedent in the Court’s jurisprudence for prohibiting abortions before viability.” 

National Right to Life and its state affiliates have led the way on the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, women’s right to know legislation, the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, the Unborn Child Protection Act, the Born-Alive Abortion Survivor’s Protection Act, parental notification and consent laws and many, many other state and federal laws. National Right to Life’s model legislation on these issues and more has been passed in dozens of states over the years.

The entire text of the speech by Carol Tobias can be found here.

Categories: Dobbs