May 18, 2021
The United States Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear a case in Mississippi that could seriously undermine abortion rights in Roe v. Wade.
Judges will review a law passed by the Mississippi legislature in 2018 that would ban nearly all abortions after 15 weeks.
Since the law was passed, lower federal judges have ruled it unconstitutional due to Roe v. Wade. This 1973 Supreme Court case indicates that states do not have the right to ban abortions before fetal viability, which is generally considered to be around 24 weeks, the New York Times said.
The exact question the court will decide is “whether all pre-viability bans on elective abortions are unconstitutional.”
The arguments will be heard in the fall, with a decision expected in the spring or early summer of 2022, the Times said.
Both pro and con abortion rights groups say the case could weaken Roe v. Wade due to the change in composition of the tribunal.
Donald Trump appointed three judges during his presidency – Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett – creating a Conservative 6-3 majority.
“Alarm bells are ringing loud about the threat to reproductive rights,” Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, said in a statement.
“The Supreme Court has just agreed to review an abortion ban which undoubtedly violates nearly 50 years of Supreme Court precedent and is a test case to overturn Roe v. Wade. The consequences of a Roe overthrow would be devastating. More than 20 states would ban abortion outright. Eleven states – including Mississippi – currently have trigger bans on the books that would instantly ban abortion if Roe is toppled. “
Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of anti-abortion Susan B. Anthony List, said the case was “a historic opportunity for the Supreme Court to recognize the right of states to protect unborn children from the horrors of painful late abortions. “.
“Across the country, state lawmakers acting on the will of the people have introduced 536 pro-life bills aimed at humanizing our laws and challenging the radical status quo imposed by Roe. It is time for the Supreme Court to catch up with the scientific reality and the resulting consensus of the American people as expressed in elections and politics, ”she said.
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