Conservative majority in Supreme Court abortion hearing casts skeptical eye on pro-choice precedent

Justices in the Supreme Court's six-member conservative majority on Wednesday raised substantial doubts about the jurisprudence behind the 1973 case establishing abortion rights in the United States, Roe v. Wade , during arguments over a Mississippi law banning abortions after 15 weeks' gestation.

Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, combined with arguments on Nov. 1 over a Texas anti-abortion law , represents the most direct challenge in decades to Roe, which made abortion a national right rather than letting states decide the issue. The rulings, which will be issued by June 2022, have the potential to sway politics substantially, with the underlying issue a motivating one at the ballot box for opponents of abortion and supporters of abortion rights.

Former Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant, a Republican, signed the abortion restriction into law in March 2018, which effectively banned abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. After the case wound its way up through federal courts, Democratic- and Republican-appointed justices appeared to be divided at the Supreme Court on Wednesday over whether the jurisprudence of abortion rights maintained by 15 previous justices should be unwound.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor raised concerns about a political "stench" that could arise if the court overturns Roe.
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