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PART TWO - Abortion Arguments: A Misleading Question, and Reliance
Two Points About Abortion On Which Some Clarification Might Be Appropriate
Two Points On Which Some Clarification Might Be Appropriate
WASHINGTON, D.C. (December 1, 2021) - Today's arguments before the Supreme Court regarding abortion were complicated, so it might be appropriate to clarify two points which seem to be receiving little if any attention from media trying to help the public understand the proceedings, suggests public interest law professor John Banzhaf, who highlights two.
Second, another important point which might cause some concern or confusion is the issue of reliance.
Virtually all the justices, as well as a legal experts on all sides of the abortion issue, agree that a strong argument against reversing any prior Supreme Court decision is reliance - the extent to which individuals, private institutions, and governmental bodies may have made, or be making, decisions relying upon the precedent.
But here most experts, and most responsible media, are predicting that, based upon the arguments and other factors, it is very likely that the abortion law in question will not be struck down, and that a decision will not be rendered until June.
Thus women and others who are likely to be affected are being given some six months notice that the Mississippi law is likely to be permitted to stand, and that the protections afforded by Roe and its progeny will be narrowed if not eliminated.
Since it normally takes nine months between the act of conception and birth, only a small number of women who might be counting on the ready availability of an abortion if they become pregnant can complain that their reliance upon the Roe precedent was undercut without any warning, notes Banzhaf, who takes no position nor offers no prediction regarding the future of abortions.
JOHN F. BANZHAF III, B.S.E.E., J.D., Sc.D.
Professor of Public Interest Law
George Washington University Law School
"The Man Behind the Ban on Cigarette Commercials"
FAMRI Dr. William Cahan Distinguished Professor
Fellow, World Technology Network
Founder, Action on Smoking and Health (ASH)
Inventor of the "Banzhaf Index"
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