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The Supreme Court announced Monday that it has set a date for oral arguments in a potentially historic abortion case.

Dobbs v. Arguments in Jackson Women’s Health, which focuses on the Mississippi law banning most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, will take place on December 1.


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The law court’s previous decision in question was in Roe v. Wade and later cases by banning abortion before the recognized point of fetal viability – when a child would be able to survive outside the womb – approximately 24 weeks into the pregnancy.

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Court precedent says that women have a right to abortion pre-feasibility, and the Supreme Court will now take another look at this and hear a debate on whether all restrictions on pre-feasibility go against the Constitution. Mississippi law does not provide exceptions for cases of rape or incest, and allows abortions after 15 weeks only in cases of health emergencies or fetal abnormalities.

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The case could impact those states with even more restrictive abortion laws, such as the Texas law that bans abortion when the fetus has a heartbeat — typically six weeks into the pregnancy. The bill has drawn sharp criticism as many women do not know they are pregnant before that time. Should the Supreme Court rule that Mississippi’s law banning pre-viability abortion is unconstitutional, the Texas law and others like it will soon be abolished.

This fall, judges will hear oral arguments in person for the first time as the coronavirus pandemic closes face-to-face proceedings. Since 2020, the Supreme Court has held arguments via teleconferencing, allowing the public to listen to live audio. Audiences for arguments in the ensuing period will be limited, mainly confined to the legal teams and the press.

Granthshala News’ Shannon Bream and Bill Mears contributed to this report.