The Supreme Court ended oral arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization on Wednesday. The case centers on a Mississippi law which bans most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, earlier than the current legal standard, which prohibits abortion bans prior to fetal viability, about 23 to 24 weeks into pregnancy.
Abortion rights activists are concerned the decision by the majority-conservative Supreme Court could overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 landmark ruling limiting government restrictions on abortion.
Protesters gathered outside the Supreme Court building before arguments began, with some carrying signs and one group called Shout Your Abortion even taking abortion pills in defiance of Mississippi’s abortion restrictions.
The ACLU entered the debate by posting one activist’s sign which depicted two people on a bus – one who “thinks abortion is BAD,” with a depressed look on his face, and another who “thinks abortion is RAD,” who appears joyful.
Critics, even those who identify as pro-choice, blasted the tweet as “disgusting” and accused the ACLU of trying to “fetishize” abortion. Others wondered what happened to the argument abortion was to be “safe, legal, and rare.”
“I respected the ACLU for a long time even when I disagreed with it, but it has become such an embarrassment,” RealClearInvestigation’s Mark Hemingway tweeted.
The debate was just as divided inside the Supreme Court. Liberal Justice Sonia Sotomayor said during arguments that a woman’s right to get an abortion has been “clearly set,” while conservative justice Samuel Alito posed questions for Julie Rikelman, the senior director of the Center for Reproductive Rights, on the issue of a viability standard.
“Then, look at this on the other side, the fetus has an interest in having a life and that doesn’t change, does it, from the point before viability to the point after viability?” Alito asked.
Rikelman replied that the court had said there are some philosophilcal differences that cannot be resolved.
The Supreme Court is expected to rule on the case later this term.
Fox News’ Ronn Blitzer contributed to this report.
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