Supreme Court set to hear major abortion case Wednesday

On Balance with Leland Vittert

CHICAGO (NewsNation Now) — The Supreme Court will hear arguments Wednesday in Mississippi’s bid to challenge the landmark abortion case Roe v. Wade. The 1973 ruling that declared a nationwide right to abortion is facing its most serious challenge in 30 years.

“The stakes for tomorrow are very high,” said May Davis, former legal adviser to President Donald Trump. “There are {going to be] watch parties run by lawyers in every state.”

The justices will weigh whether to uphold a Mississippi law that bans abortion after 15 weeks, with limited exceptions — well before the current established point of “viability,” at around 24 weeks. The court is also weighing challenges to a Texas law that bans abortions after six weeks — before many women even know they’re pregnant.

The stakes are especially high because the Supreme Court has grown more conservative in recent years. When Ruth Bader Ginsburg died in 2020, and Trump nominee Amy Coney Barrett was confirmed, the court moved further right. The high court now has a 6-3 conservative majority.

Davis believes that if the court decides to overturn Roe vs. Wade, it could dramatically shift next year’s midterm elections.

“This is going to be a very political issue,” Davis said. “This is something that going to be continually talked about and continually reassessed at the state level.”

The court could decide to uphold current precedent. It could let the law stand, effectively doing away with the current viability standard, or could overturn Roe entirely.

The justices are not expected to rule in the case until next summer, but Republicans have been eager to seize on the issue.

On Monday, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, a potential presidential candidate, promised that if her state loses an appeal in a legal fight over a law that would require women seeking abortions to first consult with crisis pregnancy centers, which generally advise women not to get abortions, she would try to get the Supreme Court to consider that case.

“We have a couple of opportunities here to make a case to undermine and remove Roe v. Wade,” said Noem, who also signed onto a legal argument in the Mississippi case.

On Tuesday, former Vice President Mike Pence called on the Supreme Court to end abortion in the U.S.

“We are asking the court in no uncertain terms to make history,” Pence, who has been laying the groundwork for a presidential run in 2024, said during a speech in Washington. “We are asking the Supreme Court of the United States to overturn Roe v. Wade and restore the sanctity of life at the center of American law.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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