The Bottom Line:
This case could define abortion laws in the country for decades to come, here’s everything you need to know about it
The Supreme Court heard oral arguments over a Mississippi abortion law that could change the Court’s abortion jurisprudence for decades to come, as the case will put to the test the survivability of Roe v. Wade—the Supreme Court case that made abortion a constitutional right in the 1970s.
The Mississippi law bans most abortions after 15 weeks. The legislation was approved by the state legislature a couple of years ago but has been temporarily suspended by the courts, ultimately making its way to the Supreme Court. Crucially, the bill challenges the viability standard that was set in an abortion case during the 1990s, which has served as the benchmark for legality over abortions.
Currently, all abortions conducted before the fetus is considered to be able to live outside the mother’s womb are allowed.
Additionally, the prosecutors of the bill also asked for the Court to completely overrule Roe v. Wade, claiming individual states should decide whether abortion is legal or not.
The arguments showed a clear divide between the liberal and conservative justices of the court, with the formers showing concerns over reversing a precedent that has been in the books for decades and the latter giving grounds over the legal and practical difficulties of the current abortion jurisprudence. Some have prognosticated that the Court’s conservative majority would most likely rule in favor of the state law. (READ Supreme Court Abortion Article)