Thomas Dobbs says it has nothing to do with Rowe’s decision to overturn Wade: NPR


Thomas Dobbs is the state health officer at the Mississippi State Department of Health. His name appears in the Supreme Court’s remarkable abortion rights case, although it has nothing to do with it, he said.

Nicholas Cam / AFP via Getty Images


hide caption

switch caption

Nicholas Cam / AFP via Getty Images


Thomas Dobbs is the state health officer at the Mississippi State Department of Health. His name appears in the Supreme Court’s remarkable abortion rights case, although it has nothing to do with it, he said.

Nicholas Cam / AFP via Getty Images

The decision of the Supreme Court in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization clears the way for states to change abortion law in the United States, nearly 50 years after a court upheld abortion rights at the federal level in Rowe vs. Wade answer.

IN Dobbs The case reached the Mississippi Supreme Court, where Jackson’s Women’s Health Organization has long been the only provider of abortion. In 2018, the state passed a law banning abortions after 15 weeks, with few exceptions – and not for cases involving rape or incest.

The Jackson Clinic and one of its doctors sued Mississippi officials in federal court, saying the state’s law was unconstitutional.

The Federal District Court and the Fifth District Court of Appeal ruled in favor of the clinic, blocking the Mississippi law. However, the state appealed to the Supreme Court, which filed the case.

The namesake of the case says he had “nothing to do with it”

The majority judges compared their decision to annulment deer until the annulment of the Supreme Court in 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson answer.

Following Friday’s ruling, the name of Thomas Dobbs is likely to take a similar position – a seismic transcript of the nation’s legal history. But Dobbs, a doctor who is Mississippi’s chief health officer, he says has nothing to do with the case which bears his name.

“It’s just weird,” Dobbs said. His name is in the case, he noted, for the protection of sovereign immunity. Instead of suing his state agency directly, the plaintiffs must mention Dobbs’ name in court documents because he is the executive director of the agency that inspects the Jackson clinic.

“In fact, this law was passed before I was even in the job,” Dobbs said, referring to the Mississippi abortion restriction caused by the federal case. – Honestly, I have nothing to do with it.

Dobbs is an infectious disease doctor who became Mississippi’s chief health officer in 2018. He plans to leave the post in July, saying he will become dean of the School of Public Health at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.

While people across the country have cited his name to discuss the future of abortion rights in the United States, Dobbs is trying to help Mississippi fight the COVID-19 pandemic. His tweets, for example, often call on people to get a vaccine to boost the vaccine and seek treatment such as Paxlovid and monoclonal drugs if they get sick.

The state case included the standard of viability

When the Supreme Court granted Mississippi’s request to hear the abortion law case, it limited itself to one question: “Are all optional abortion bans unconstitutional?”

The idea of ​​viability is crucial in abortion law. As Priscilla Smith, a Yale law professor and proponent of abortion rights, told NPR late last year, “The central principle of deer is the existence of abortions to viability. “

The Mississippi petition to the Supreme Court called the standard “unsatisfactory.” He also noted that the viability of the fetus has changed over time, thanks to advances in obstetrics and medical technology.

“Tomorrow, the development of an artificial womb will inevitably shift the line of ‘viability’ to the moment of conception,” the state wrote in its petition.

Lawyers for the Jackson Women’s Health Organization said the central issue of viability has already been resolved – by Rowe vs. Wade in 1973 and until Planned Parenthood in Southeast Pennsylvania vs. Casey in 1992

The clinic wanted the Supreme Court to uphold the Fifth District’s decision, citing “almost fifty years of precedent.” But a majority of the judges ruled deer the wrong decision was made to return control of abortion to the states.

Leave a Comment