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  • Rikki Lambert

US Supreme Court to hear landmark challenge to 50-year abortion law

The US Supreme Court will take on a major abortion case seeking a 15-week ban on abortion in the state of Mississippi.

The Court has agreed to consider a case that, if upheld, would constitute a major roll-back of abortion laws in the United States and could potentially trigger revisions of such laws in other nations.

The court's agreement to hear Dobbs vs Jackson Women's Health Organisation sets up a showdown over abortion, probably in the northern autumn.

Many conservative and Christian voters backed former president Donald Trump principally for the reason that he would - and did - appoint more conservative-leaning new Supreme Court justices who would later be tasked with considering the nation's abortion laws.

Feminist and liberal activists stridently contested the Supreme Court nominations knowing the new court could re-shape American healthcare policy. The nomination of justice Amy Coney Barrett in the dying days of the one-term Trump presidency to replace feminist icon, the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg, drew howls of derision in American politics for occurring so close to the election. The appointment nonetheless survived challenges in Congress.

In the latter days of the presidential election campaign, now President Biden was challenged on the question of what he would do about the Supreme Court, at times baulking at the question and on other occasions since indicating interest in expanding the number of justices on the bench to reshape the court's post-Trump conservative-leanings.

The court first announced a woman's constitutional right to an abortion in the 1973 Roe v Wade decision and reaffirmed it 19 years later.

Mississippi's ban had been blocked by lower courts as inconsistent with Supreme Court precedent that protects a woman's right to obtain an abortion before the fetus can survive outside her womb.


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