In 2018, Mississippi enacted a law prohibiting nearly all abortions after fifteen weeks of pregnancy. This law explicitly conflicts with the core holdings of the Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which render pre-viability abortion restrictions unconstitutional. After the Mississippi law was challenged by abortion providers, Mississippi explicitly asked the Supreme Court to overrule Roe and Casey and thereby eliminate any constitutional protections for a woman’s right to choose to obtain an abortion.
Americans United, joined by several other organizations, filed an amicus brief explaining that constitutional protections for abortion, and the nonreligious viability standard at the core of Roe and Casey, are consistent with founding-era concerns about avoiding sectarian strife by having government remain neutral on religious disputes. Only a standard based on biology, like the viability line, properly respects the religious pluralism and social stability on which our nation depends.
In June 2022, the Supreme Court overturned Roe and Casey in a 5-4 decision, holding that the 14th Amendment does not protect the right to obtain an abortion and opening the door for states to ban abortion entirely. Americans United is currently preparing litigation challenging abortion bans on religious-freedom grounds in response to this decision.