U.S. Supreme Court justices reacted to oral arguments this week in the landmark abortion case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health.
For her part, liberal Justice Sonia Sotomayor signaled her belief that nothing much has changed since the precedent-setting decisions in the cases of Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey.
America is not the same
As the Washington Examiner detailed, however, Sotomayor failed to mention a few key details in presenting her stance.
The Roe decision established a woman’s right to have an abortion while the subsequent Casey decision determined that a state cannot place an “undue burden” on that right prior to the viability of the fetus outside of the womb.
Tiana Lowe wrote in the Examiner this week that America was a much different place at the time of those rulings in 1973 and 1992, respectively.
She noted that “the average point of fetal viability was around 28 weeks, a little more than six months of gestation,” when the Roe decision was made and unmarried women had only received the right to purchase birth control the previous year.
According to the article, a variety of contraceptive options were still not on the market as of the Casey ruling.
“Cheaper, safer, and more accessible”
On the other hand, women have a wide array of alternatives to abortion if they face an unwanted pregnancy. As Lowe put it, “birth control has never been cheaper, safer, and more accessible to virtually every woman of childbearing age than it is right now.”
Furthermore, she noted that the average point of viability has decreased by several weeks since Supreme Court justices first enshrined abortion rights nearly 50 years ago.
Nevertheless, pro-abortion advocates maintain that Mississippi’s restriction on abortions performed after 15 weeks is an unconstitutional burden on pregnant women. That issue is at the center of the case currently being considered by the nation’s highest court.
Sotomayor clearly agrees and attempted to make the case that Roe and Casey represent justified precedents because American society is fundamentally the same as it was in 1973 and 1992.
As conservative political commentator Katie Pavlich determined after hearing the liberal justice’s arguments this week, “Justice Sotomayor is comparing babies in the womb to dead people.”