WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Supreme Court of the United States heard arguments in a restrictive abortion case that poses a direct threat to Roe v. Wade, which essentially makes abortions legal in the U.S. What happens with this recent case could shape the future of abortions in America.
It was anything but quiet outside the Supreme Court in Washington D.C. A large crowd gathered outside the courthouse holding signs, debating with others, split over the issue of abortion.
“The only way we can have our constitutional right to an abortion and have our religious freedom intact is if every single person in this country can make their own health and moral decisions about their bodies,” said Sheila Katz who is pro-choice.
“Babies in the womb are full human people and they do deserve protection so I’m really hoping a decision is handed down that will uphold life,” said Sarah Neely who is pro-life.
The Supreme Court heard arguments on a Mississippi law that makes most abortions illegal after 15 weeks of pregnancy. This case is seen as a direct challenge to the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling which prohibited states from banning the procedure before fetal viability, or around 23 weeks.
In this hearing, the Court’s six member conservative majority seemed split about whether to stop at 15 weeks or to overrule roe altogether. Three of the Court’s liberal members seemed determined that Roe should stand.
Pro-choice supporters outside the courthouse said overturning Roe would have a devastating economic, social and emotional impact on women across the nation.
“Healthcare should really be between a person and their physician,” said Natalie Carr who is pro-choice. “It doesn’t belong in any court.”
Pro-life supporters believe with this case they’re closer than ever to overturning Roe.
“For me this feels like a historic moment that I wasn’t sure if I would see in my lifetime so to be here and to know that this might be the case that overturns Roe v. Wade is so exciting,” said Christen Pollo who is pro-life.
A decision on this case from the Supreme Court is expected by summer of 2022. If Roe gets overturned, around 20 states have laws in place that will make almost all abortions unlawful in their state.