U.S. Supreme Court could decide Friday whether to hear Mississippi abortion case
Mississippi's 15-week abortion ban law could be one of the first cases new U.S. Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett rules on.
The nine-member court is expected to decide Friday whether it will review a lower court's ruling preventing the 2018 Mississippi law from going into effect that bans most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
Barrett, appointed by President Donald Trump, was sworn in to the court Monday night. Some believe with Barrett, part of the 6-3 conservative majority on the court, it could lead to a reversal of the 1973 landmark Roe v. Wade decision.
Center for Reproductive Rights President Nancy Northup said in a statement dozens of abortion-rights cases are heading toward the Supreme Court and one is already there; the state of Mississippi is seeking review of its 15-week abortion ban, which the Center for Reproductive Rights successfully blocked in the lower courts as unconstitutional.
Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch has asked the high court to review a lower court ruling blocking the state's 2018 law.
Fitch has said: "We are hopeful that the court will accept our case and allow Mississippi to defend innocent life as the Legislature and people of this great state intend."
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In December, a three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals agreed with U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves' decision blocking the Mississippi abortion law. The state asked the full court to reconsider the decision. The appeals court refused to reconsider the decision.
The Center for Reproductive Rights had filed a lawsuit on behalf of the state's only abortion clinic challenging Mississippi's law, which was set to become law July 1, 2018.
Opponents of the abortion law said that it unconstitutionally bans abortion before "viability." The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that a state cannot deny a woman an abortion before the fetus reaches viability, typically around 23 to 24 weeks of pregnancy.
The Mississippi Legislature passed a more restrictive law in 2019 banning most abortions after six weeks. Reeves also banned that law from going into effect and the 5th Circuit upheld his decision.
Contact Jimmie E. Gates at 601-961-7212 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @jgatesnews on Twitter.