Supreme Court declines to hear case on fetal personhood
The Supreme Court on Tuesday decided against hearing a case on whether fetuses are entitled to constitutional rights in the aftermath of the court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade in June.
Driving the news: The court turned down an appeal by a Catholic group and two women who challenged a 2019 state law in Rhode Island that codified abortion rights, deciding to punt on another potentially contentious case.
- A lower court ruled fetuses did not have proper legal standing, Reuters reports.
- The lawyers for the Catholic group and the two women argued that the case "presents the opportunity for this court to meet that inevitable question head on," referring to the prospect of a ruling on whether fetuses have due process and equal protection rights.
The big picture: Justice Samuel Alito in the June decision overturning Roe wrote that the court took no position on "if and when prenatal life is entitled to any of the rights enjoyed after birth."
Between the lines: The language of "personhood" laws could potentially be used to restrict some forms of birth control and IVF. Currently, there are no states with such laws in place.
Zoom in: States have attempted to enact them in the past but have been blocked by courts.
- In Ohio, state lawmakers are considering a law that would recognize personhood from conception.
Go deeper... Where abortion access is guaranteed without Roe v. Wade