The Supreme Court takes up its most important abortion case in years on Wednesday, and the question will be how the Justices maneuver their way out of a thicket they should never have entered 50 years ago. Will the Court, in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, settle for an incremental ruling that upholds a Mississippi ban on abortion after 15 weeks, or will it overturn its misguided precedents and return the regulation of abortion to legislatures in the states?
These columns have long supported a policy of legal abortion before viability, albeit uneasily as technology has revealed the development of the fetus. But we have had no hesitation in saying that Roe v. Wade (1973) and its progeny, notably Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992), were wrongly decided. Abortion is nowhere mentioned in the Constitution, and its regulation is a classic example of police powers reserved for the states.