The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments on Wednesday, Dec. 1, on the 15-week abortion ban in Mississippi, a case known as Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health. While the court will not make an official decision for a few months, they reportedly cited a likelihood at siding with Mississippi, which would overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade case legalizing abortion nationwide.
“Let’s say Roe v. Wade were reversed,” said Elmhurst University adjunct Steve Kowal in an interview last October. “What that would mean is, it [legality of abortion] would go back to each individual state to decide how they want to address the issue. And in Illinois there is a law that’s kinda sitting there that’s been passed by the legislator that would protect abortion rights even if Roe v. Wade were not the national law.”
According to Kowal, there are 22 states that have “trigger laws” which would criminalize abortion, should Roe v. Wade be overturned.
Advocates for abortion rights have spoken out against the Mississippi law that is being debated on currently. The Leader requested a comment from Planned Parenthood Illinois and received a statement which was sent out on Dec. 1, from their president and CEO Jennifer Welch.
“We can not afford to be complacent and rely on the courts to protect us while abortion access hangs by a thread. While Roe needs to be defended, we recognize it’s never been enough to guarantee equal access to abortion for everyone,” said Welch in the statement.
“That’s why we are fighting with everything we have to ensure we can care for more patients than ever before. Abortion continues to be legal in Illinois and our doors are open. We remain steadfast in our commitment to unapologetically provide abortion care to our patients, no matter their zip code, no matter what.”
Opponents of abortion have been openly supportive of the Mississippi law.
“Today’s oral arguments made it clear that a majority of the members of the U.S. Supreme Court recognize the viability standard, for when a state can restrict abortion access, as an arbitrary dividing line,” said Illinois Right to Life (IRL) in an email to The Leader. “Based on their discussion of the viability standard, which is at the heart of the Dobbs case, we predict that the Court will overturn the central holding of Roe in the coming months.”
The IRL says that they will continue to advocate for pro-life legislation.
“We will continue to promote our educational materials related to biological and legal sources that affirm the scientific fact that a human’s life begins at fertilization and abortion is a form of homicide since it entails the killing of a human,” said IRL