Waiting for Dobbs, by Hadley Arkes

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By Hadley Arkes, The Catholic Thing, Feb. 8, 2022

Hadley Arkes is the Ney Professor of Jurisprudence Emeritus at Amherst College and the Founder/Director of the James Wilson Institute on Natural Rights & the American Founding.  …


Hadley ArkesIt will come, of course, by the end of June, in the closing hours of the year for the Supreme Court; the moment when it delivers the judgments on the most heated, controversial cases – and the justices then decorously flee town, even the country, as the reactions explode.  Bound to set off tremors this year is the Dobbs case from Mississippi on abortion, for it tees up again the possibility that Roe v. Wade may finally be overruled.

The law in Mississippi sought to bar abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, ostensibly out of concern for the pain inflicted on the child.  In all strictness, fetuses may feel pain much earlier.  But 15 weeks was quite enough to challenge the current line drawn by the Supreme Court by barring abortions well before viability, where a child could be sustained outside the womb. …