The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to take up the case of a Mississippi state law that bans almost all abortions after the 15th week of pregnancy - giving it the chance to substantially weaken the 1973 Roe.
v. Wade decision.
The case will be the first abortion case to be heard in its entirety since the Republican Senate confirmed Justice Amy Coney Barrett in the last weeks of President Donald Trump's administration.
The case is setting up to be a major test of the court's new 6-3 conservative majority.
By hearing the case, the justices will look at whether to overturn a central part of the landmark ruling, a longstanding goal of religious conservatives.
The case will be the first abortion case to be heard in its entirety since the Republican Senate confirmed Justice Amy Coney Barrett in the last weeks of President Donald Trump's administration
In the Roe v.
Wade decision, subsequently reaffirmed in 1992, the court said that states could not ban abortion before the viability of the fetus outside the womb, which is generally viewed by doctors as between 24 and 28 weeks. The Mississippi law would ban abortion much earlier than that.
The Roe v.
Wade ruling recognized that a constitutional right to personal privacy protects a woman's ability to obtain an abortion. The court in its 1992 decision, coming in the case Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey, reaffirmed the ruling and prohibited laws that place an "undue burden" on a woman's ability to obtain an abortion.
The Supreme Court will take up the Mississippi abortion case with its new 6-3 conservative majority
Abortion rights advocates gather.
Tuesday, May 21, Ceriabet 2019, at the Capitol in Jackson, Miss., as they rally to voice their opposition to state legislatures passing abortion bans
This Friday, May 17, 2019 photo shows the Jackson Women's Health Organization in Jackson, Miss.
The facility is the state's only abortion clinic
Shannon Brewer, the clinic director at the Jackson Women's Health Organization, watches a monitor with the live feed from security video cameras set throughout the property Friday, May 17, 2019, in Jackson, Miss.
Coney Barrett joined the court in October after then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell pushed through her confirmation while voting for the November elections was already underway.
She replaced the pro-choice Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died last year.
Last year, Chief Justice John Roberts, joined the court's four liberals at the time to rule against a Louisiana abortion law in a 5-4 decision, finding its restrictions were virtually identical to a Texas law the Court had struck down in 2016.
Abortion opponents are hopeful that the Supreme Court will narrow or overturn the Roe v. Wade decision. The court moved from a 5-4 to a 6-3 conservative majority following Senate confirmation last year of Republican former President Donald Trump's third appointee, Justice Amy Coney Barrett.
The 2018 Mississippi law, like others similar to it passed by Republican-led states, was enacted with full knowledge that was a direct challenge to Roe v.
After the only abortion clinic in Mississippi, Jackson Women's Health Organization, sued to try to block the measure, a federal judge in 2018 ruled against the state. The New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in 2019 reached the same conclusion, prompting the state to appeal to the Supreme Court.
By taking up the case, the court could hear arguments on the contentious issue the summer of 2022, an election year with control of the House and Senate up for grabs.
The state law prohibits all abortions if the 'the probable gestational age of the unborn human' was found to be more than 15 weeks 'except in a medical emergency or in the case of a severe fetal abnormality.'