The Supreme Court prepares to debate a case that could ultimately end Roe vs. Wade as we know it. The case involves a Mississippi law that bans abortion at 15 weeks. After two hours of oral argument and questions from the justices, the fate of Roe v. Wade does not look good.
The Roe vs. Wade landmark decision dates from 1973, and it allows states to ban abortions once the fetus could survive outside the womb, totaling around 24 weeks, known as the fetal viability standard. The Mississippi state law is trying to regulate all abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
At oral argument, justice Brett Kavanaugh expresses concerns on whether the Supreme Court is the correct forum to have these kinds of disputes. He seems to be of the idea that abortion-related laws should be decided at the state legislatures.
The attorneys that oppose the Mississippi ban disagree with justice Kavanaugh arguing that the right to an abortion is a woman’s fundamental right under the U.S. Constitution. Therefore, state legislatures should not be able to trump such a fundamental, constitutional right.
Justice Sonia Maria Sotomayor is apprehensive about how a decision to overturn or modify Roe v. Wade might be seen from a court that is supposed to act as neutral rather than political.
The addition of three newly appointed justices during former President Trump’s presidency made SCOTUS’s majority to be leaning conservative at 6:3 ratio. Sotomayor was highly concerned that, should the Court overturn Roe v. Wade, it will be seen as highly political; driven by political appointments.
The Supreme Court decision is expected to be released in the summer of 2022.