The Undoing of Roe V. Wade
By William C. Mason III
Although our firm does not practice constitutional law, I have a particular interest in this area of the law. The Supreme Court recently rendered many historical rulings, with the most notable being Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which I have summarized here:
The Facts: The Dobbs case addressed Mississippi’s Gestational Age Act which prohibits abortion after the fifteenth week of pregnancy, except in the case of a medical emergency or severe fetal anomaly.
The Issue: Jackson Women’s Health Organization challenged the Mississippi Act alleging that it violated the constitutional right to abortion created by Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pa. v. Casey. The State of Mississippi defended the Mississippi Act on the grounds that Roe and Casey were wrongly decided.
The Holding: When considering whether the United States Constitution confers the right to abortion, the Court concluded that while the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment has been utilized to guarantee some rights that are not explicitly mentioned in the Constitution, such rights must be “deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition” and “implicit in the concept of ordered liberty.” The right to an abortion does not fall within this category as, until the latter part of the 20th century, such a right was “entirely unknown in American law,” and at the time of the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment, “three quarters of the States made abortion a crime at all stages of pregnancy.”
The Takeaway: The Court held that the Constitution does not confer a right to abortion; overruled Roe and Casey; and the returned the matter to the states, the people, and their elected representatives.
Will is an Of Counsel Attorney at the Law Offices of Tony J. Tyre, Esq., APC, which is an estate planning and probate firm located in Temple City. Please call 626-858-9378 or visit www.tyrelawgroup.com to schedule a free living trust consultation.