Mid-Southerners weigh in on Mississippi abortion case

Published: Dec. 1, 2021 at 7:18 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments on Wednesday over a Mississippi law banning most abortions after 15 weeks.

While the case before the Supreme Court involves a Mississippi law, it goes far beyond that since whatever the court decides applies to all 50 states.

Mid-Southerners who call themselves pro-life and who want to see an end to legalized abortion rallied in downtown Memphis on Wednesday.

“Pro-life law and pro-life policy ought to be in the hands of the people through their elected representatives determining what abortion law is, not the Supreme Court,” said Kevin Pruett with the Shelby County Chapter of the Tennessee Right to Life.

Their rally took place on the same day the nation’s highest court heard oral arguments over a Mississippi law banning most abortions after 15 weeks.

The law was passed in 2018.

At the time, supporters admitted it was created to directly challenge Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion nationwide.

During oral arguments, Mississippi’s solicitor general, Scott Stewart, wasted no time attacking Roe and another Supreme Court decision, Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which upheld Roe and a woman’s right to get an abortion.

Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey haunt our country. They have no basis in the Constitution. They have no home in our history or traditions. They’ve damaged the democratic process. They poison the law,” said Stewart.

Should the Supreme Court overturn Roe about half of the states have what are known as “trigger laws,” which would automatically go into effect and ban most abortions.

Arkansas, Tennessee and Mississippi are among the states with these types of laws.

Jennifer Pepper with CHOICES, a Memphis abortion provider, said she worries what overturning Roe will mean for women, poor women and poor women of color who live in the Mid-South.

“When restrictions are placed particularly in states in the South, the people that are harmed are those that are underserved that do not have resources and are already struggling to make ends meet,” said Pepper.

Most legal analysts say based on the questions coming from the justices, the court appears to be leaning toward upholding Mississippi’s abortion ban law.

It remains to be seen if they will go further and overturn Roe.

NBC News legal analysts say the justices will meet privately in the next couple of weeks to make their decision.

The public likely won’t hear what their decision is until sometime next summer.

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