WASHINGTON (Nexstar) — The United States Supreme Court announced it will take up a Mississippi abortion case that bans all abortions — with very few exceptions — after the 15th week of pregnancy.
Conservatives who oppose abortion hope this case will help overturn Roe v Wade, the landmark abortion rights case from 1973. In recent years, conservative states passed restrictive abortion laws knowing they would be challenged, hoping the cases would lead to overturning current abortion laws in the US.
Mississippi’s abortion law is one of the most restrictive in the country. It bans all abortions after 15 weeks except in cases of severe fetal abnormality and when the mother’s life is in danger. The law does not provide exceptions for rape and incest.
“Over the last four years, critical rights like the right to health care, the right to choose, have been under withering and extreme attack, including through draconian state laws,” said White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki.
So far, lower court decisions blocked Mississippi’s law because Roe v Wade established women have a constitutional right to abortion until about 6 months into a pregnancy.
But that could change with the Supreme Court’s current 6-3 conservative majority.
Sarah Parshall Perry with the conservative Heritage Foundation said states have the right to regulate abortions.
“We’re hopeful, as many conservative scholars are, that this is the precise vehicle to overturn Roe,” Perry said. “This is an opportunity to secure their state opportunity to protect and enhance the pro life parameters.”
But some say restricting access to safe and legal abortions hurts women. Even when outlawed, statistics show roughly the same number of women have abortions — except with more dangerous methods and settings.
“The president and the vice president are devoted to ensuring every American has access to health care including reproductive health care,” Psaki said.
Psaki also said the Biden administration is committed to getting Congress to pass a law that would permanently protect women’s right to abortions regardless of the outcome of this case.