The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments today on a Mississippi law that bans abortions after 15 weeks. This is one of the biggest abortion rights cases the high court has taken up in some three decades, since Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey.
The six conservative justices seem ready to uphold Mississippi’s law, overturning the precedent established in Roe v Wade in 1973. That precedent stops states from banning the procedure before a fetus can live outside the womb at roughly 24 weeks.
Would the court completely reverse Roe v. Wade, and let states ban abortions earlier than 15 weeks or even ban the procedure entirely?
“I think there’s a close to zero chance that the status quo will be upheld. … This is a court motivated to reexamine Roe and Casey. And it’s hard to see, based on the questioning, that there’s [an] answer — other than either a complete … evisceration of Roe or a semi-evisceration of Roe,” says Jessica Levinson, professor at Loyola Law School.