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Supreme Court Justices pose for group photo with newly sworn in Justice Amy Coney Barrett on April 23, 2021 Think big, go small. That seems to be Chief Justice John Roberts’s approach to Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health , the Supreme Court’s most consequential abortion case in a generation. Mississippi’s regulation prohibits most abortions after the 15th week of pregnancy. Though that is well past the point where a woman is aware of her pregnancy, it is significantly earlier than fetal viability – the stage at which an unborn child can potentially live outside the mother’s womb. Current medical consensus is that viability occurs at 24 weeks of pregnancy. But note that critical word: current. Medical technology constantly improves, so viability will always be a capricious standard – not an objective moment of human gestation between conception and birth, but a constantly-changing metric of scientific proficiency. Why does that matter? Because viability is the straw at which the Supreme Court grasped in Roe v. Wade (1973) to establish when the state begins to have a cognizable interest in the life of the unborn child. Only then may it intrude on the woman’s right to terminate the pregnancy, the putative right the Roe court manufactured in an act of imperious judicial legislating. Because a 15-week restriction would necessarily forbid abortions that would be permitted under the viability standard that Roe purported to divine from the Constitution, it stands to reason that the court must invalidate Roe to uphold Mississippi’s law. […]