The US Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments today in a challenge to Mississippi’s prohibition on abortions shortly after the first trimester. The case is the first challenge to abortion law to be fully heard under the court’s 6-3 conservative majority. It is also considered the most direct challenge to the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that generally established the right to an abortion prior to fetal viability (see overview), typically considered to be around 24 weeks.
The new law, passed in 2018, bans the procedure after 15 weeks of pregnancy, predicated on an estimate of fetal viability. The law was immediately challenged by the Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the only abortion provider in the state. Lower courts suspended the law’s implementation pending appeal.
The high court has previously said it would focus on a single question—whether all bans on elective abortions prior to viability violate the Constitution. See current abortion regulations by state here.