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US Opponents of Mississippi Pro-Life Law Have More in Common with China and N. Korea Than Europe

Image Source: Freestocks/Unsplash
Image Source: Freestocks/Unsplash

Mississippi, it turns out, has something in common with most of Europe.

At least, the Magnolia State would have something in common with 47 out of 50 European countries, if its abortion law was implemented.

A new study from the Charlotte Lozier Institute found the vast majority of European nations limit elective abortion to at or before 15 weeks gestation. None of the 50 states in the U.S. enforce the same limit.

The United States — with the exceptions of China and North Korea — stands alone in its embrace of abortion at nearly every stage of pregnancy.

That, however, is not the case in most of Europe. For example, 27 countries limit elective abortion at 12 weeks gestation, five limit it at 14 weeks, and eight nations do not allow abortion on demand at all.

“American elites often hold up Europe as an example,” said CLI President Charles A. Donovan, referring to those on the left who point to Europe as a beacon of progressive success. He went on to say that “almost every European nation goes further than America in protecting life.”

What’s Going on in Mississippi?

The release of the CLI study comes just days after attorneys for the state of Mississippi stepped up their efforts in the battle to uphold the state’s pro-life bill. Now the state is urging the Supreme Court, which is slated to hear the Mississippi case this fall, to overturn its landmark 1973 decision on Roe v. Wade, which gave nationwide legal cover to abortion.

In an opening brief, Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch argued a state can “prohibit elective abortions before viability … because nothing in constitutional text, structure, history or tradition supports a right to abortion.”

Fitch and her four attorneys also claimed the high court’s decision on Roe v. Wade and its 1992 ruling in Casey v. Planned Parenthood was “egregiously wrong” and have “inflicted significant damage” to the “principles of democratic self-governance.”

The arguments are part of a brief filed in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a case centering on a law passed in Mississippi in 2018 to largely prohibit abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy. The legislation, however, has been tied up in the legal system, with lower courts citing Supreme Court precedent to bar a state from limiting abortions prior to “fetal viability,” referring to the point at which an unborn baby can survive outside the womb.

“Mississippi’s common-sense limits on late-term abortion are well within the mainstream of American popular opinion and clearly within the mainstream of European political opinion,” Donovan said in a statement. “The European comparison is useful in highlighting how Roe v. Wade and the abortion industry are outdated and out of touch, but our goal isn’t achieving some international happy medium. Along with legislators in Mississippi, [the] Charlotte Lozier Institute is committed to using science to demonstrate the reality that human life exists in the womb and that the right to life is an unalienable human right.”

The author of the CLI study, Angelina B. Nguyen, said the implementation of the Mississippi law would bring the U.S. “a small step closer both to European and global norms.”

“No European nation allows elective abortion through all nine months of pregnancy, as is effectively permitted in several U.S. states,” she added. “America is one of only a handful of nations, along with China and North Korea, to permit any sort of late-term elective abortion.”

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Sens. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), and Mike Lee (R-Utah) filed an amicus brief Tuesday, asking the Supreme Court to overturn its decision on Roe v. Wade in the Mississippi abortion case.

Abortion supporters, however, have been critical of the Mississippi law.

Nancy Northrup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights, which is representing the abortion clinic in the Supreme Court case, condemned the state’s legal filing as “extreme” and “regressive.”

“Today’s brief reveals the extreme and regressive strategy, not just of this law, but of the avalanche of abortion bans and restrictions that are being passed across the country,” she said. “Their goal is for the Supreme Court to take away our right to control our own bodies and our own futures — not just in Mississippi, but everywhere.”

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