Supreme Court Asked to Weigh Foreign Laws in Abortion Case

Washington – Not long ago, when a US judge cited foreign law in a ruling on interpretation of the constitution, the Conservatives were outraged.

Judge Antonin Scalia, for example, wrote of fierce resistance when the Supreme Court considered international trends toward abolishing the death penalty for boys in a 2005 ruling.

The court also accused his colleagues of opportunism and hypocrisy. In other areas of law, he writes, courts ignore conservative criminal, religious and foreign judgments, particularly those related to abortion. “This is sophism, not a rational decision to implement the Aliens Act if you agree with your thinking and ignore it,” Scalia wrote.

Mississippi lawmakers appeared to have had a different opinion in 2018 when they passed a law 15 weeks later banning most abortions.

With the discovery of the first law to justify the law, its authors sought help abroad. “The United States is one of only seven countries in the world to allow non-therapeutic or selective abortion as needed after 20 weeks of gestation,” the study said. “In fact, 75% of countries do not allow abortion after 12 weeks of pregnancy except to save lives (in most cases) and maintain the physical health of the mother.”

The Laws were designed to challenge Rowe against Wade. The 1973 decree established a constitutional right to abortion and prohibited the state from banning abortion before the fetus can live, or about 23 or 24 weeks. The Supreme Court will hold a debate in December to challenge the law.

Statements made by lawmakers about foreign practices appear to be generally true. The Washington Post Fact Check column confirms most of the first column. “These statistics seem suspicious at first, as only seven out of 198 countries allow selective abortion after 20 weeks of gestation,” he said. “But if you dig deeper, the data will back up your claim.”

Mary Ziegler, a law professor at Florida State University, said 12 weeks is a common par, even though social conditions are usually very different.

“Most of the world has health insurance for about 12 weeks,” he said. “We only realized it then. If you want to have an abortion within the first 12 weeks, there is no real reason for it. ”

Martha F. Davis, a law professor at Northeastern University, adds that restrictions are usually a serious exception for patients who need abortions at a later date.

“Many countries, but not all, have limits on the possibilities on paper, not our closest associates,” he said. “But they made so many exceptions that made abortion so much freer.”

At a confirmation hearing in 2005, Judge John G. Roberts Jr. questioned the applicability of foreign law in the US constitutional process, saying it should be selective.

“You can find what you want in foreign law,” he said. “Seeking help from foreign laws is like looking at a crowd and choosing friends.”

In a summary of documents from the Supreme Court, Mississippi officials focused on enemies of the state. “The United States has found itself in the company of China and North Korea as one of the few countries to allow selective abortion after 20 weeks of gestation,” Brief said.

Lawyers for abortion services who challenge Mississippi’s laws have asked the court to consider other states.

“In countries with legal traditions and democratic values ​​most similar to those of the United States, such as the UK and Canada, abortion is legal, at least until it becomes feasible,” they wrote. “And many countries with restrictions on early pregnancy continue to allow abortions for a variety of social and health reasons, and functionally allow late pregnancy abortions.”

Bryff, a classmate in the Mississippi Duel, also supported Judge Roberts’ observations of selectivity.

In a brief statement, a professor of international law who supports Mississippi law said: “In France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Norway and Switzerland, the limit for on-demand abortions is 14 weeks or earlier and medication is limited. We only allow exceptions at a later date for good reason. Simple citation data collected by the Center for Reproductive Rights.

Meanwhile, brief statements from other comparative and international legal experts in favor of abortion service providers in Mississippi have a similar legal tradition to that of the United States, particularly Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom, “Allowing Abortions. We focus on countries that say. For or about eligibility. ”

“These countries also support abortion rights and reproductive solutions through universal insurance, access to abortion services and access to contraception outside the common law,” Brief said. I’ve already.

The report adds that the recent international trend is toward easier access to abortion, as more than 50 countries have liberalized their laws in the last 25 years. In contrast, Brief Roe cancels, “As one of the few countries in the last two decades to have moved toward stricter restrictions on legal access to abortion, countries such as Poland and Nicaragua. He will join the company. ”

Professor Ziegler said recent conservative attention to foreign countries was artificial, with about 12 weeks’ notice.

“People who are against abortion are dishonest because they don’t offer 12 weeks,” he said. “Offer 6 weeks or fertilization.”