NEWS & ANALYSIS

Supreme Court to Hear Mississippi Abortion Case Challenging Roe v. Wade


The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a groundbreaking abortion rights case, energizing activists on both sides of the debate to make abortion a major topic of discussion in the 2022 midterm elections.

States where this issue could be a key factor in the 2022 Senate races include Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Georgia and Florida, AP News reports. 

This marks the second time in weeks that the majority conservative Court has signaled a willingness to reconsider a historic law; this time, Roe v. Wade; just weeks ago, guns. 

The court announced Monday it would review whether all state laws that ban abortions are unconstitutional. In the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, the Court stated that a woman has the right to end a pregnancy within the first six months if the fetus would be to be unable to survive once born. 

If the Court upholds a Mississippi law banning abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy, it would mark the first step towards a possible end to Roe v. Wade. 

Indeed, since 1973, abortion has become one of the most contested subjects within the political spectrum. Both sides – pro-life and pro-choice – are readier than ever to head to battle. 

As reported by NPR, the test case is from Mississippi. A panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals blocked enforcement of the law – which bans abortions after 15 weeks, as aforementioned. The court found it in conflict with Roe v. Wade. 

The Mississippi appeal has been sitting on the court’s agenda since last fall, just before Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation. 

Mississippi is just one of many states that have passed laws banning abortion over the last year. 

Bans on pre-viability, abortion bans have been struck down, until now, in a dozen states since 2019, including Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Montana, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah and Tennessee.

But, the court now has a 6-3 conservative majority, and all six justices have taken positions against abortions at one time or another. Perhaps the most vocal against abortions is Amy Coney Barrett.