WASHINGTON (AP) – The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to rule on a major abortion case that could drastically alter decades of rulings on abortion rights and ultimately lead to dramatic restrictions on access to abortion.
It has been nearly 50 years since the court announced in its decision the decision of Roe v. Wade of 1973 that women have a constitutional right to abortion.
Here are some questions and answers about the case:
COULD IT BE THE CASE BACK TO ROE V. WADE?
The case is a Mississippi appeal in which the state is asking to allow the majority of abortions to be banned in the fifteenth week of pregnancy. The state does not ask the court to annul the decision Roe against Wade, or later cases that reaffirmed it.
But many proponents of abortion rights are alarmed and many opponents of abortion are excited that judges may undermine their previous rulings on abortion. If the court upholds Mississippi law, it would be the first ratification of the abortion ban before the point of viability, when a fetus can survive outside the womb. This ruling could lay the groundwork for allowing even more restrictions on abortion. This includes a state ban on abortion once a fetal heartbeat has been detected, already in six weeks.
WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU WIN MISSISSIPPI?
If Mississippi wins, it will be able to enforce its 15-week ban, which so far lower courts have banned. Also, other conservative states would surely try to copy the Mississippi law. A decision that states can limit predictable abortions would also encourage states to pass more restrictions, which some states have already made and are already embroiled in legal challenges. Challenges to these limits would continue.
That said, the immediate practical impact of a victory for Mississippi could be silenced. This is because more than 90% of abortions occur in the first 13 weeks of pregnancy, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
THE COURT IS CONSERVATIVE. IS THERE A PROBABLE RESULT?
It looks like Mississippi will have dominance, both because the judges agreed to hear the case first and because of the composition of the court. Following the death of Liberal Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg in September and her replacement by Conservative Judge Amy Coney Barrett, the Conservatives occupy six of the nine court seats.
Barrett, one of three former President Donald Trump nominees in court, is the most open opponent of abortion rights that has been incorporated into the court in decades. Trump’s other two nominees, Judges Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, voted dissident last year to allow Louisiana to apply restrictions to doctors who could have closed two of the state’s three abortion clinics.
Judge Samuel Alito was also expected to vote for Mississippi, while Judge Clarence Thomas has evidence to support Roe’s revocation against Wade.
WHEN WILL THE PUBLIC KNOW WHAT THE COURT DOES?
The court has finalized its schedule of oral arguments scheduled for now and issues decisions before taking a break for the summer. The court will resume arguments in October and this case is likely to be discussed in the fall. A decision would likely come in the spring of 2022 during the campaign for the midterm congressional elections.
WHERE ARE AMERICANS ON THE ISSUE OF ABORTION?
An April poll by the Pew Research Center found that 59% of Americans believe abortion should be legal in most or all cases, while 39% believe it should be illegal. · Legal in most or all cases. Eighty percent of Democrats said abortion should be legal in all or most cases, compared to only 35% of Republicans.