Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett on Wednesday indicated she might not be inclined to protect a woman’s right to an abortion, suggesting it wasn’t necessary thanks to the option to give a child up for adoption. The high court was gathered in the morning to hear oral arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, which asks the justices to overturn Roe v. Wade.
The Mississippi law in question on Wednesday would ban most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, a statute that violates the 1973 Roe decision. After nearly two hours of argument, all six justices in the court’s conservative majority seemed to signal they would rule to undermine Roe. Chief Justice John Roberts alluded to upholding the Mississippi law. Justice Brett Kavanaugh questioned whether abortion decisions should even be made at the federal level, asking, “Why should the court be the arbiter? There’ll be different access in Mississippi and New York, Alabama and California.”
“Both Roe and Casey emphasize the burdens of parenting,” Barrett said, latching onto the cases’ focus on the ways forced motherhood hinders equal opportunity. She then asked why “safe haven” laws, regulations under which parents cannot be prosecuted for leaving their newborn in a safe location or with an appropriate person, don’t “take care of that problem.”