On May 17, the U.S. Supreme Court announced that it has accepted for review an abortion case from Mississippi that could have grave implications.
In 2018, Mississippi passed a law that bars abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy (with limited exceptions). Under the 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade, which was reaffirmed in 1992 in the Planned Parenthood v. Casey ruling, states cannot ban abortion before viability, which is generally regarded as being around 24 weeks.
The 1992 decision said the state could not impose “an undue burden” on a woman’s right to choose an abortion. So far, this provision has proven to be determinative: the state of Mississippi lost in both the federal district court and the appeals court.
The American people, while not supporting a complete ban on abortions, have been moving away from the Roe decision. They support more restrictions on why and when an abortion should be permitted. Also, the makeup of the Supreme Court has become more sympathetic to pro-life arguments.
The high court will hear oral arguments in the fall and is expected to render a decision next spring.