Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban, then-Gov. Phil Bryant, a Republican, enacted a law in 2018, made exceptions only for medical emergencies or cases in which there is a “serious fetal abnormality,” but not for cases of rape or incest. A Mississippi federal judge struck down the law in November 2018, and the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld that ruling in December 2019.
After being postponed for conference court consideration more than a dozen times, the case could present a direct challenge from Roe v. Wade, with the landmark 1973 Supreme Court ruling legalizing abortion nationwide. before viability, which can occur around 24 weeks pregnant.
It will be a successful case, with the judges revisiting an issue that still deeply divides the country some 50 years after the historic opinion, and with a decision that could come in the middle of the 2022 midterm elections.
The case will plunge the court – with a conservative 6-3 majority – directly into culture wars as states across the country attempt to adopt more restrictive measures.
“This will be, by far, the most significant abortion case the court has heard since the Casey decision in 1992,” said Steve Vladeck, CNN Supreme Court analyst and law school professor at CNN. University of Texas. “If states are allowed to effectively ban abortions after the 15th week of pregnancy, as Mississippi law does in this case, then pregnant women would have a much shorter window in which they could legally get an abortion than they are. Roe and Casey are currently demanding. ”
The court ruling also highlights the impact of Judge Amy Coney Barrett, who likely voted with the majority to take over the case and will spread the concerns of abortion right supporters who fear she is ready to go. move the court to the right on the issue. The Mississippi case will be the third major abortion case to be pursued by the court this year, as the high court has expressed interest in considering restrictions on abortion.
In March, the high court ruled in the next term whether the Republican attorney general of Kentucky could defend a controversial abortion law that had been struck down by a lower court, continuing the legal fight. American Civil Liberties Union attorneys representing the EMW Women’s Surgical Center and several doctors say Kentucky law places undue burden on the right to viable abortion by “effectively” banning the “standard method of abortion. of the second trimester ”.
In January, the Supreme Court upheld the Trump administration’s request to restore long-standing restrictions on patients seeking a drug used to abort early in pregnancy – with the three liberals dissenting in a potential glimpse of a new chapter in the Court’s decisions on procedure.
This story is out and will be updated.