The following Op-Ed was written by Senator Roger Wicker
On December 1, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on a Mississippi case that could spell the end of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 ruling that imposed abortion on all 50 states. If Mississippi prevails, it will represent a momentous breakthrough in the fight to protect unborn life.
The journey to this moment began in 2018, when our state passed a law restricting abortion after 15 weeks. That law was blocked by a federal judge, appealed twice, and eventually reached the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. If the court rules in favor of Mississippi, states will be allowed to restrict abortion more effectively, enabling more unborn lives to be saved. Pro-life Americans have reason to be hopeful. With a 6-3 conservative majority on the bench, now is the best chance in a generation for the court to end Roe v. Wade and allow states to protect life in the womb.
Roe has been a stain on our court system for nearly 50 years. It has allowed unborn children to be aborted for any reason or no reason, resulting in over 62 million deaths and counting. The legal gymnastics used to defend abortion in court have made a mockery of our Constitution. And our democracy has suffered, with state lawmakers limited in their ability to enact pro-life protections. For the sake of the unborn and our democracy, Roe should be reversed.
Science Moves Public Opinion Toward Life
This case comes at a time when more and more Americans are becoming pro-life. Since 1995, the share of Americans who say they are pro-life has jumped from 33 to 47 percent. Two-thirds of Americans support a ban on second-trimester abortions, similar to the Mississippi law. Eighty percent oppose late-term abortions. And 58 percent support a ban on taxpayer funding for abortions, something Congress has passed each year and which I have long sought to make permanent.
Science has been pivotal in driving this shift. Sonograms now give expectant parents a window into the womb, where tiny hands and feet can be seen in detail. In addition, we now know the fetal heartbeat begins at around six weeks, and an unborn child can feel pain at 20 weeks. These realities weigh heavily on the hearts and consciences of many Americans. Yet Roe v. Wade has kept our laws frozen in time, unable to adjust to new scientific information.
Free Nations Settle Abortion Through Democracy
It is eye-opening how far outside the global mainstream our nation is because of Roe v. Wade. Even liberal European countries have restricted abortion more than our Supreme Court has allowed. Denmark, France, and Norway have all banned elective abortion after 12 weeks. Germany and Belgium have drawn the line at 14 weeks. Many U.S. states would have even stricter standards than these countries if we were not hamstrung by the Supreme Court. Instead, the U.S. is one out of only seven countries that permits elective abortions after 20 weeks, alongside China and North Korea.
In the coming days, the Supreme Court will have the opportunity to correct this situation by revisiting Roe v. Wade. I am proud that Mississippi is leading this fight. And I am thankful that 228 members of Congress have joined my amicus brief asking the court to rule in favor of Mississippi. As this case is argued before the Supreme Court, millions of Americans will be praying that this becomes a decisive turning point in the cause for life.