Justice Amy Coney Barrett Weighs in on Bodily Autonomy

Justice Amy Coney Barrett Weighs in on Bodily Autonomy

(ReliableNews.org) – After the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, there was an empty seat on the United States Supreme Court. Former President Donald Trump filled that seat before leaving office with conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who vowed to keep her personal views separate from her judicial decisions on the bench. On December 1, SCOTUS began to hear arguments regarding a law in Mississippi that bans abortions past the 15-week mark of pregnancy. When the newest justice weighed in, Justice Barrett stated that restricting abortion is an “infringement on bodily autonomy” and equated that sentiment to vaccine mandates.

Dobbs v Jackson and Roe v Wade

Ever since the Supreme Court ruled in 1973 that the decision to have an abortion was a right protected by the 14th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, there has been great controversy. In 1992, SCOTUS again examined the ruling during the Casey v Planned Parenthood case. The court found that women have the right to an abortion until the fetus is viable without interference. In Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the issue is in front of the highest court in the land once more.

In this case, the organization challenged the Mississippi Gestation Age Act, which stops nearly all abortions at 15 weeks, and is well before viable age. Now SCOTUS must decide whether to strike down the law or let it remain in place.

Justice Barrett had some questions regarding Safe Haven laws and mentioned body autonomy issues during initial arguments.

Justice Barrett’s Perspective

Justice Barrett, the mother of seven, asked why the Safe Haven laws all over the country don’t solve the problem of relieving a woman of the burden of parenthood if she finds herself with an unwanted pregnancy.

While speaking about the rule that lets new mothers relinquish their children shortly after birth without consequences, Barrett mentioned how forcing a woman to carry to term against her will infringe on body autonomy, similar to a vaccine mandate. The statement seemed to equate the two and gave a little peek into how the justice might rule if such cases make their way to the Supreme Court.

If Justice Barrett rules in favor of infringement, that could mean she could decide the same for forced vaccinations and could be cause for concern for anti-vax groups.

Experts believe the court will make a decision on the Mississippi case sometime in the summer of 2022. Currently, there are no cases before SCOTUS regarding COVID-19 vaccination mandates.

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