On Monday, the Supreme Court has announced the date for oral arguments for the Mississippi abortion case challenging Roe v. Wade.
Oral Arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, which focuses on a law from Mississippi that bans most abortions after 15 weeks, will be heard on Dec. 1.
The said law challenges the court’s earlier ruling in Roe v. Wade and succeeding cases by enforcing a restriction on abortions done earlier than what’s recognized to be the point of fetal viability. This would fall at around 14 weeks into the pregnancy.
As indicated in the court precedent, women have the right to get an abortion before the fetus is viable. With this, the Supreme Court will now review the case and hear arguments about whether all pre-viability elective abortion bans are unconstitutional. The Mississippi legislation does not exempt cases of rape or incest, and it only allows abortions beyond 15 weeks if health emergencies happen or fetal abnormalities are detected.
The said case may impact states with similar or even more restrictive legislation on abortion, including Texas that has a law that bans abortion after a heartbeat is detected. The Texas bill has garnered heavy criticism since many women remain unaware that their pregnant even before that point. If the Supreme Court rules that the Mississippi law goes against the constitution, the Texas law and other similar legislations would possibly be struck down.
The Justices are scheduled to hear oral arguments this fall in person for the first time since the pandemic has halted face-to-face proceedings. Since last year, the Supreme Court held arguments through teleconferencing, which also allowed the public to hear the live audio. The audience for the upcoming term, however, will remain limited and will be kept mainly to the legal teams and the press.