Some Republican-controlled states have passed laws to ban abortions after a certain of time with the most aggressive bans clocking in at just six weeks. Lower federal courts have placed these laws on hold, but the Supreme Court is going to settle the matter in the near future.
The court has voted to hear a case concerning Mississippi's ban on abortions after 15 weeks.
By hearing the case in their next term, which starts in October and ends in June 2022, the justices will look at whether to overturn a central part of the landmark ruling, a longstanding goal of religious conservatives.
The ruling, expected next year, could allow states to ban the procedure before the fetus is viable outside the womb, upending decades of legal precedent.
In the Roe v. Wade decision, subsequently reaffirmed in 1992, the court said that states could not ban abortion before the viability of the fetus outside the womb, which is generally viewed by doctors as between 24 and 28 weeks.
I don't enjoy being pessimistic, but the conservative makeup of the court suggests it's more likely than not that they will vote to allow Mississippi and other states to ban abortion in most cases.
If the court does vote in favor of states rights' to ban abortion, it seems fairly clear what will happen next: Republican controlled states will ban abortion in almost all cases and anyone who needs an abortion will have to travel to a Democratic state to obtain one. Unsafe attempts to abort at home will increase and so will attempts to criminalize all remaining avenues including traveling to other states.
It's not directly related to abortion, but this brings to mind the pledge from Republican state lawmakers who say they'll oppose infrastructure projects in their own states of President Biden is able to pass his domestic spending agenda. Republicans really would like to have their own country that is poorer, less healthy, and less free than the rest of us.
If the court ultimately sides with abortion rights and against states, my first guess is it would come down to Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Gorsuch siding with the liberals.