Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization would ban abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy and challenge the 50-year precedent set by 1973's Roe v Wade.
Roe V Wade
Credit: Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Supreme Court of the United States heard oral arguments on December 1 over a Mississippi court case that could ban abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization is one of the most consequential abortion cases to come before the high court since Roe v. Wade in 1973 and runs a risk of challenging that ruling's precedent.

"As oral arguments concluded on Jackson's Women's Health Organization v. Dobbs, we're outraged that the Supreme Court is considering upending nearly five decades of settled law to proclaim that pre-viability prohibitions on abortion care are NOT unconstitutional," said Lupe M. Rodríguez, Executive Director of the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice.

She continued, "This is a slap in the face for the people of Mississippi and individuals throughout the South and the Midwest who have been facing relentless attacks on access to abortion care for so many years."

Roe V Wade
Credit: Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images

Lawyers defending the ban have requested that the court overturn the two landmark decisions that protect reproductive rights across the nation: Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. If the court rules in favor of the ban, this would signify a threat to abortion access and would have a profound effect on the future of reproductive rights nationwide.

Under Roe, the ruling asserts that a person may choose to have an abortion and states may not ban it until a fetus becomes viable. What does this mean? Viability means that the fetus would have the ability to live outside the womb, which typically occurs around the 24 week mark.

Abortion Law
Credit: Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

"The consequences of such a ruling would be dire. If the Court rules to uphold Mississippi's abortion ban, it will be going against nearly 50 years of settled law and gutting every person's ability to make their own decisions about their reproductive lives," Rodríguez continued.

"Half of the states in the U.S. are poised to ban abortion care entirely if the Court essentially overturns Roe v. Wade with such a ruling, and we know that this would disproportionately impact Latina/x, im/migrant, Black and other communities of color who often lack the funds, time off, childcare or im/migration documentation to travel for care," Rodríguez explained.

In May, the high court decided to accept the hearing for the Mississippi court case—a moved that launched a wave of shock throughout the nation and reproductive rights groups. Then, after ruling in favor of the Texas heartbeat law in September, concerns have grown at the fate of abortion rights for the U.S.

"While hearings unfold, it's critical that reproductive healthcare advocates and everyone in this country who believes that people must have access to care, raise our voices to make one thing explicitly clear: access to abortion care is essential for people to live with dignity and justice," Rodríguez concluded.