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Supreme Court debates changes to US abortion rules
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15:33, 19/03/2021

The Supreme Court will meet in private on Friday, March 19, to consider whether it should uphold Mississippi legislation banning abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Conservative justices on the court would be pushing to exert greater restrictions on abortions in the United States.

As several states continue to adopt bans or limitations on abortion, many of the new laws are appealed and head to the high court. As a result, justices may choose to wait to take any action that transforms abortion regulations at the federal level, CNN reported.

Mississippi officials had appealed an appeals court ruling that had invalidated a ban on abortions after 15 weeks gestation. The ruling was met with precedent that the Supreme Court prevents bans when the fetus could not live outside the womb.

The problematic Mississippi case began in 2018, when an abortion clinic sued the state after then-Gov. Phil Bryant, signed a ban on abortions after 15 weeks. 

At the time, federal District Judge Carlton Reeves ruled that it was unconstitutional, and a three-judge panel of the conservative Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed that Reeves had ruled correctly.

In late 2019, Mississippi asked the full appeals court to reconsider the case, and the full panel then denied the request.

It is now up to the Supreme Court justices to consider the case and make a decision. Should the justices agree to accept the 15-week decision it will surely cause a national uproar.

It appears that, despite the divergent opinions and the greater number of conservative justices on the court, they will seek to coalesce around the issue and make a joint decision.

For the time being, all that remains to be speculated is what is known about each of the justices.

Along with Breyer, Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan have consistently voted to reaffirm abortion rights and restrict states' authority to limit women's access to abortion practices, so they are expected to continue in the same vein.

But Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Neil Gorsuch have historically stood for the defense of life and are expected to continue to seek to prevent or at least limit as much as possible the abortion industry. 

While Judge Amy Coney Barrett, the latest to join the court, is known for her conservative position that would lead her to be against abortion, she has not yet had to intervene on any issue in this regard.

Reality shows that while state authorities continue to debate on whether or not to limit access to abortion and the justices of the court debate on their intervention in the matter, Worldometer, an organization that is run by an international team of developers, researchers and volunteers with the objective of making global statistics, published that in 2020 abortion was again the No. 1 cause of deaths worldwide with 42.7 million unborn human beings being killed through abortion.

The figures are chilling: more human beings died from abortion than from cancer, malaria, AIDS, tobacco-related diseases, alcohol, and traffic accidents combined.