(NewsGlobal.com)- The Supreme Court hasn’t issued its ruling on the case that could result in the landmark Roe v. Wade decision being overturned.
A draft majority opinion that was leaked in early May suggested the court was about to undo legal protections for women who want an abortion. But, until the decision is handed down, nothing is official.
Many around the high court believe that conservative Chief Justice John Roberts might be trying to broker a deal between the two sides that would result in a compromise on the matter.
On Sunday, Politico reported this development, saying that Roberts could be trying to seek a way to preserve the federal constitutional right for women to get an abortion in some forms while also giving individual states more power in what they could or could not allow.
Those in the know with the court believe this to be the case because Roberts — who has sided with liberal justices in the past on major decisions — has often said that the Supreme Court should avoid issuing sweeping decisions if a more modest one would suffice.
Politico cited a 2018 speech Roberts gave at the University of Minnesota Law School at which he said:
“I think judicial decisions should be narrower, rather than broader. Courts sometimes get in trouble when they try to sweep more broadly than necessary.”
The case in question is called Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. If Roberts wanted to reach a compromise, he would need to convince at least one of the five remaining conservative justices to join his side. If he doesn’t, the final ruling might be 5-4, with the conservative majority winning out and the federal right to an abortion being overturned.
In their case, lawyers representing Mississippi are arguing that their law that bans almost all abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy be upheld. They’ve also said that the time has come to overturn both the 1970s decision in Roe v. Wade and the 1990s decision in Casey v. Planned Parenthood that created the federal right to an abortion and preserved it, respectively.
During the oral arguments in this case, Roberts seemed to suggest that the federal government could allow women to retain the right to get an abortion even if states had the right to limit abortions before it was viable for the fetus to live outside the womb, which typically happens around 22 to 23 weeks of pregnancy.
Roberts further stated that the issue at hand could be whether pregnant women have sufficient opportunities to get an abortion if they wanted to, rather than what the age of the fetus is.
“There is a point at which they’ve had the fair choice — opportunity to choice. Why would 15 weeks be an inappropriate line? Because vitality, it seems to me, doesn’t have anything to do with choice. But, if it really is an issue about choice, why is 15 weeks not enough time?”