Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization

Summarized by:

  • Court: U.S. Supreme Court Certiorari Granted
  • Area(s) of Law: Constitutional Law
  • Date Filed: May 17, 2021
  • Case #: 13-1392
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: 945 F.3d 265, (5th Cir. 2019)
  • Full Text Opinion

Whether all pre-viability prohibitions on elective abortions are unconstitutional.

In 2018 the state of Mississippi enacted the Gestational Age Act which banned women from obtaining an abortion after 15 weeks, as measured from the first day of a woman’s last menstrual period (LMP). Respondent filed a complaint to request a temporary restraining order to block Mississippi’s new law. The district court struck down the 15-week abortion ban for imposing an unconstitutional undue burden on the right to abortion. Petitioner appealed the decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and the court ruled in favor of Respondent. Respondent then filed a motion to supplement the complaint to also include a 6-week ban that was signed into law in 2019. Petitioner filed this petition and is arguing 1) that “viability” is not an appropriate standard for assessing the constitutionality of an abortion law, and 2) courts need to analyze a state’s legitimate interest when assessing pre-viability abortion laws. 

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