Scientific progress at the center of the case in a major abortion case before the Supreme Court | Newstalk Florida


Laurel Duggan

The amicus briefs filed prior to oral argument in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health focus on scientific advances in the study of human development since the Roe v. Wade in 1973.

Numerous submissions filed on behalf of women, religious organizations, states, and life advocates have argued that advances in science have invalidated Roe’s reasoning.

The Dobbs case is a direct challenge to Roe, the landmark ruling that banned states from banning abortion before fetal viability, according to at the Guttmacher Institute. The legal standard for determining fetal viability is between 24 and 28 weeks.

A brief filed on behalf of 375 women injured by second and third trimester abortions argued that fetal viability occurs in the embryonic stage, citing an unwanted child who was conceived through in vitro fertilization, frozen for seven months and placed in the belly of another woman.

“This is the new standard of undisputed sustainability that advances as science advances,” the brief explained.

A brief filed by many medical associations, including the American Medical Association, argued that fetal viability, defined as the ability of a baby to survive outside the womb with medical assistance, is not possible after 15 weeks. The brief goes on to recognize that viability now occurs at around 23 weeks.

The the most premature baby to survive outside the womb was born at 21 weeks gestation. The lawyer of record did not respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment regarding this potential discrepancy.

States seeking to implement restrictions on abortion cannot do so before the point of “viability,” which Roe defined as occurring at 28 weeks.

“In the 47 years since Roe, countless scientific and medical advances are informing our understanding of fetal development and the ability to feel pain. Yet the district court declared all scientific developments irrelevant and the line of absolute viability, ”18 states argued in a joint statement. brief friend .

“Not only is this reprehensible according to the precedents of this Court, but it would deprive state legislatures of the ability to legislate effectively in light of changing knowledge. “

The Catholic Diocese of Biloxi, Mississippi supported in its brief that “the state’s interest in protecting unborn children who have the capacity to feel pain is compelling enough to warrant a limited ban on abortion.”

The human fetus may experience pain at 15 weeks, receding when a needle enters the hepatic vein and circulating stress hormones through the bloodstream, separately from the mother’s bloodstream, according to at the Lozier Institute.

This claim is disputed by the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine’s brief, who argued that a fetus cannot feel pain for 24 weeks because the cortex is underdeveloped. The brief says anesthetics and pain relievers are used in abortion to “maintain physical stability”, citing its own guidelines recommending the use of paralyzing agents on fetuses during “maternal-fetal procedures.”

Other papers argue that scientific developments have changed our understanding of the beginning of human life. “Roe’s recognition of the right to abort a predictable pregnancy is based on the belief that interruption would not extinguish the life of a human person. This belief is no longer defensible in practice given the current state of scientific knowledge concerning the origin and development of the human fetus ”, Illinois Right to Life argued.

His thesis explained that a human zygote has the complete human genome that will dictate its development throughout its life. In a study of predominantly left-wing, pro-choice and non-religious biologists, 96% said at least one version of the claim that human life begins at fertilization, according to the brief.

Dr Grazie Pozo Christie, a doctor affiliated with the Catholic Association Foundation, made the unusual decision to include photographs in his amicus brief to the Supreme Court. The file features ultrasound images from the 1970s as well as currently available ultrasound images.

Modern ultrasound images included in the dossier show babies with clearly visible distinctive arms, fingers and facial features. 4D renderings, according to the brief, allow doctors not only to clearly see the human form of the baby, but also to observe the movement: an example shows a baby yawning and sucking his thumb.

The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health on December 1. The case is a direct challenge of Roe v. Wade.

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