The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a Mississippi case on Wednesday in a case that many scholars believe could inspire the high court to overturn Roe v. Wade, the nation’s long-standing legal precedent that guarantees women the right to obtain an abortion.
The law at the center of the case is a 2018 Mississippi law that prohibited abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. The Jackson Women’s Health Organization, Mississippi’s only abortion clinic, filed a federal lawsuit against the state the day after the law went into effect, and the suit has been in the federal court system since then.
Legal counsel for the state of Mississippi, led by Attorney General Lynn Fitch, argue that the Supreme Court should overrule Roe and Casey to allow the issue of abortion to be decided by the states or Congress, both because the original decision was wrong and because the circumstances have changed. Many anti-abortion advocates see this as an avenue to completely outlaw abortion.
The clinic argues that nothing has meaningfully changed to warrant the court overruling the protections established in Roe and Casey. Pro-choice advocates have drawn a firm line in the sand with this case, arguing that any limitations on the fetal viability doctrine would be a de facto overturn of Roe and allow abortion to be banned in many states.