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US: Abortion: Challenge to Mississippi law could provide answer to Roe v. Wade's fate

Roe redux: Is 'viability' still viable as a constitutional doctrine?

  Roe redux: Is 'viability' still viable as a constitutional doctrine? The Supreme Court is on the eve of arguments in what could be the most consequential abortion case in decades.Dobbs has everything that you would need for a Roe-killing case. That does not mean the court will do so, but it could substantially reduce Roe's hold over states.

WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments Wednesday in a challenge to Mississippi’s ban on most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, a blockbuster case with the potential to upend reproductive rights across the nation.

In the most closely watched dispute the high court has tackled in years, the justices will consider not only whether to uphold the Mississippi law but whether to overturn its 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade that established a constitutional right to abortion.

Arguments will begin at 10 a.m. EST.

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Justices' views on abortion in their own words and votes

  Justices' views on abortion in their own words and votes WASHINGTON (AP) — When the Supreme Court hears arguments Wednesday over whether Mississippi can ban abortions after 15 weeks, the justices will be focused on an issue that has dominated the term. Not only is there Mississippi’s call to overrule Roe v. Wade, but justices are already considering a Texas law banning abortion at roughly six weeks and written to make it difficult to mount legal challenges against it. The justices won't be writing onThe justices won't be writing on a blank slate as they consider the future of abortion rights in the U.S. They have had a lot to say about abortion over the years — in opinions, votes, Senate confirmation testimony and elsewhere.

Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the last abortion clinic in Mississippi, challenged the law in 2018, asserting it conflicted with Roe. Two lower federal courts agreed.

Other states: Supreme Court's decision in abortion case will affect dozens of states

Roe at issue: Supreme Court to hear blockbuster Mississippi abortion case

The Supreme Court, where conservatives hold a 6-3 advantage for the first time in decades, surprised observers by agreeing to hear the case at all. Similar bans have been struck down by lower courts without intervention from the nation’s highest court. And so the decision to take the case signals that at least some members of the court want to say something about the direction lower courts have taken on the issue.

Supreme Court to hear landmark abortion case this week

  Supreme Court to hear landmark abortion case this week The justices will hear arguments Wednesday over a Mississippi law that bans abortion after 15 weeks in a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade.The case poses the clearest test yet of the 6-3 conservative court's trajectory. Conservatives and anti-abortion activists have since 1973 sought to narrow or overturn the legal right to an abortion first recognized in the Roe decision. They hope the upcoming Mississippi case finally leads to its dismantling. The state's Republican attorney general, in a court brief filed over the summer, explicitly urged the justices to overrule Roe and related rulings, calling the court's precedent on abortion "egregiously wrong.

Former President Donald Trump vowed to put the court on a path to "automatically" overturn Roe. And he nominated three conservative justices who have signaled their displeasure with the decision. Much of the focus during Wednesday’s arguments will rest on two of them: Associate Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett.

The decision will have ramifications beyond Mississippi, with dozens of conservative states poised to approve similar bans. At least 17 states have enacted "trigger bans" or have pre-Roe abortion bans already in place in the event the Supreme Court overturns the landmark ruling, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a research group that supports abortion rights.

A 7-2 majority in Roe v. Wade established a constitutional right to abortion and allowed people to exercise that right until the end of the second trimester. A 1992 decision ended the trimester framework and ruled people can obtain an abortion until viability, the point when a fetus can survive outside the womb or about 24 weeks into a pregnancy.

Lone Mississippi clinic on front line of U.S. Supreme Court abortion battle

  Lone Mississippi clinic on front line of U.S. Supreme Court abortion battle Lone Mississippi clinic on front line of U.S. Supreme Court abortion battleJACKSON, Miss. (Reuters) - As a car drove into the parking lot of Jackson Women's Health Organization clinic, the only abortion provider in the state of Mississippi, anti-abortion activist Beverly Anderson leaned in to speak to the woman in the passenger's seat.

Abortion rights groups are expected to lean heavily on the significance the court places on being bound by precedent. That argument is likely geared to Kavanaugh and Chief Justice John Roberts, both of whom have raised concerns about the impact overturning precedent has on the court as an institution that casts itself as apolitical.

Anti-abortion groups, meanwhile, counter that, in this case, precedent should be tossed because Roe was incorrectly decided. They say the court’s legitimacy would benefit from nullifying a right not explicitly set out in the Constitution.

Caroline McDonald, left, a student at Georgetown University, Lauren Morrissey, with Catholics for Choice, and Pamela Huber, of Washington, join a abortion-rights rally outside the Supreme Court, Monday, Nov. 1, 2021. © Jacquelyn Martin, AP Caroline McDonald, left, a student at Georgetown University, Lauren Morrissey, with Catholics for Choice, and Pamela Huber, of Washington, join a abortion-rights rally outside the Supreme Court, Monday, Nov. 1, 2021.

Polls show Americans are divided on the issue. Nearly two-thirds say the Supreme Court should uphold Roe, according to a recent Washington Post-ABC News poll. A Marquette Law School poll found a slim plurality, 37%, of Americans favor banning abortions after 15 weeks compared with 32% who would oppose that move.

'Roe' on the line as Supreme Court takes up abortion rights case

  'Roe' on the line as Supreme Court takes up abortion rights case The Supreme Court will hear a case from Mississippi that could transform abortion rights in America, overturning Roe v. Wade and allowing stringent new state laws. "This is the most important Supreme Court case on abortion since Roe in 1973, and I don't think it's particularly close," said Sherif Girgis, Notre Dame law professor and former clerk to Justice Samuel Alito.

Katherine Hunter, of College Park, Md., holds a sign outside the Supreme Court, Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021, as activists begin to arrive ahead of arguments on abortion at the court on Capitol Hill in Washington. © Jacquelyn Martin, AP Katherine Hunter, of College Park, Md., holds a sign outside the Supreme Court, Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021, as activists begin to arrive ahead of arguments on abortion at the court on Capitol Hill in Washington.

Experts say the court may try to strike a middle ground by upholding the right to abortion while eliminating viability as the constitutional touchstone. Abortion rights groups say such an outcome would effectively overturn Roe, permitting states to approve increasingly earlier cutoffs for people to obtain the procedure.

If the court moves in that direction anti-abortion and abortion rights groups agree on one thing: It would spur a fresh round of lawsuits to determine where the new line should be drawn.

The court is likely to decide the case early next summer.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Abortion: Challenge to Mississippi law could provide answer to Roe v. Wade's fate

If Roe v. Wade is overturned, here's what happens .
If it overturns Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court would unleash a series of state-level legislative battles and fuel heated public debateWhile it's difficult to predict outcomes, observers have suggested the court's conservative majority will strike down decades of precedent following Roe v. Wade, the landmark ruling that limited government restrictions on abortion. In doing so, it could allow state legislatures to pass laws banning abortions prior to fetal viability.

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