Chief Justice John Roberts called a 15-week ban “not a dramatic departure from viability.”
The fate of the court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion throughout the United States and its 1992 ruling in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which reaffirmed Roe, probably won’t be known until late June.
But during nearly two hours of arguments on Wednesday, conservative justices indicated they had questions about the court’s current abortion framework. The justices were being asked to overrule the two seminal decisions in the context of a Mississippi law that bans abortion after 15 weeks. The court’s Roe and Casey precedents say a state can regulate but not ban abortion before the point of viability, at about 24 weeks. All six conservative justices, including three appointed by former President Donald Trump, indicated they would uphold Mississippi’s law.
In their writings and statements before Wednesday, Justice Clarence Thomas had been the only justice to call openly for overruling Roe and Casey.
Here are some of the things the justices said during arguments:
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