The U.S. Supreme Court announced Monday that it will hear oral arguments in a Mississippi challenge to Roe v. Wade, the 1973 landmark ruling that effectively legalized abortion in America, on Dec. 1.
The case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, focuses on the 15-week abortion ban in Mississippi and will force the nation’s highest court to determine “whether all pre-viability prohibitions on elective abortions are unconstitutional.”
Anti-abortion activists have looked at the case as a legitimate chance to reverse Roe.
Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, one of the largest anti-abortion advocacy groups, claimed Dobbs marks “a landmark opportunity for the Supreme Court to recognize the right of states to protect unborn children from the horrors of painful late-term abortions.”
Abortion rights activists have also sounded the alarm on the case given the court’s current makeup. All three justices nominated by former President Donald Trump, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett, are conservative, and opponents claim that each will attempt to overturn Roe given the opportunity.
Some liberal lawmakers have instead called on Congress to codify abortion rights.
“This shouldn’t just be up to the Supreme Court,” Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren previously said. “Congress can, and must, pass a law to protect the right to a safe and legal abortion, no matter what Trump’s justices say.”
The Supreme Court declined earlier this year to hear a challenge to S.B. 1, Texas’s recently enacted six-week abortion ban. At the time, President Joe Biden directed the Departments of Justice and Health and Human Services to find ways around the Texas law and help providers offer abortion services without facing the new legal consequences, but he told reporters in early September he isn’t “sure” the federal government will find the authority to circumvent the law.