The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to consider gutting the constitutional right to abortion, saying on May 17 it will hear Mississippi’s case to ban the procedure in almost all instances after 15 weeks of pregnancy. The move suggests the court’s strengthened conservative wing may be ready to roll back, if not overturn, the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which legalized abortion nationwide.
The Mississippi case—which the court will hear in the nine-month term that starts in October—will be its first abortion case since the confirmation of Justice Amy Coney Barrett last October, which gave the court a 6-3 conservative majority. It lobs a contentious cultural issue back to the forefront of national politics under a new president who’s so far avoided wading into the culture wars and centered his agenda on the economy.
Already, abortion-rights groups and anti- abortion activists are preparing for a fight before next year’s midterm elections. “Abortion just became one of the top issues of the 2022 midterm elections. See you on the battlefield,” tweeted Nikki Goldschein, associate director of Planned Parenthood’s political action committee, after the court indicated it would hear the case.
Mallory Quigley of the Susan B. Anthony List, which backs anti-abortion candidates, called the Mississippi case “the most consequential case for the court to take up since Roe v. Wade” and said it’s “encouraging for pro-life voters to see the fruit of past elections coming to bear.”
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