Washington: The US Supreme Court on Wednesday heard arguments in a case that could upend the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion procedure nationwide, with liberal justices warning against ditching important legal precedents while some conservatives signaled support for the restrictive Mississippi law at issue, reported Reuters.
The court, which has a 6-3 conservative majority, was hearing oral arguments in the southern state’s appeal to revive its ban on abortion starting at 15 weeks of pregnancy. Lower courts blocked the Republican-backed law.
Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the only abortion clinic in Mississippi challenged the law and has the support of President Joe Biden’s administration. A ruling is expected by the end of next June.
Conservative Justice Brett Kavanaugh noted that if Mississippi wins the case, such a ruling would not prohibit abortion nationwide but would let states regulate it as they see fit.
“Why is 15 weeks not enough time” for a woman to decide to have an abortion, Conservative Chief Justice John Roberts asked.
Liberal Justice Stephen Breyer stated that the court should not bow to political pressure in overturning Roe and that such a ruling would “subvert the court’s legitimacy”.
Liberal Justice Sonia Sotomayor questioned that if Roe was overturned then other major precedents, including those on gay rights might also be threatened. She
said Mississippi brought its new challenge purely because the Supreme Court has become more conservative after President Trump appointed 3 justices during his term.