Everything we know so far about the proposed abortion limits in the US
The US Supreme Court looks set to tighten abortion access with a Mississippi law banning abortion at just 15 weeks.
Former Vice President Mike Pence spoke in favour of the ban yesterday, "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."
Protestors gathered outside the Supreme Court in Washington DC as the 9 justices, 6 of who are conservative, heard two hours of arguments in the case.
The case is centered around upholding a Mississippi law that bans abortion after 15 weeks and has been passed by the Republican-led legislature in the Southern state.
Mississippi's General Solicitor, Scott Steward, argued that the law should ultimately be decided by the state and not the Supreme Court. "When an issue affects everyone and when the Constitution does not take sides on it, it belongs to the people.”
“This court should overrule Roe and Casey and uphold the state’s law,” he said.
Protests also took place in Mississippi's capital, the state currently only has one abortion clinic which makes access limited as it is.
One abortions rights protestor Patricia Ice spoke to WTTW News about having to get an illegal abortion in the 1960s; "I don’t want us to have to go back to those days.”
“I don’t want to go back 50 years to those days — thinking about it makes me shudder,” she said.
If the Supreme Court decides to allow Mississippi to impose its abortion regulations it will be overriding the Roe v Wade landmark case of 1973 and the 1992 case of Planned Parenthood v Casey.
Roe v Wade found restrictive regulation of abortion by the state to be unconstitutional and made abortion legal until the fetus can survive outside the womb typically at 22-24 weeks.
Although it has faced many challenges Roe v Wade has been upheld for the last 47 years, in 1992 the Planned Parenthood v Casey case upheld 1973 ruling and further found it unconstitutional to plan an "undue burden" on a women's ability to access an abortion.
Four of the six conservative justices who sit on the Supreme Court have seemed to be in support of overturning Roe v Wade.
Two of these were appointed by Donald Trump while he was in office. As reported by Vox during Donald Trump's time as president he vowed to appoint Supreme Court justices who would overturn Roe V Wade.
Trump nominated Amy Cohen Barrett to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who in contrast to Bader Ginsburg is vocally pro-life and has advocated for the reversal of Roe v Wade.
Attorney Julie Rikelman argued against the state of Mississippi on behalf of the Center for Reproductive Rights and stated how unconstitutional the ban would be.
“For a state to take control of a woman’s body and demand that she goes through pregnancy and childbirth — with all the physical risks and life-altering consequences that brings – is a fundamental deprivation of her liberty,” Rikelman said.
The decision is set to be made by the Supreme Court in June of this year.
If the Mississippi law is successfully upheld, two dozen other states in America are expected to make an effort to restrict abortion.
This is likely to increase illegal and unsafe abortions as well as putting immense pressure on abortion services in states where it will remain legal.