The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments today (Dec. 1) in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a case that could decide the future of abortion in the U.S.
The case involves a Mississippi law that bans most abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Mississippi is asking the high court to uphold the law, which was in effect less than 24 hours before a federal judge temporarily blocked it on March 20, 2018 – one day after then-Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant signed it.
The state’s only abortion clinic, Jackson Women’s Health Organization, remains open and offers abortions up to 16 weeks into pregnancy. About 100 abortions a year are done after the 15th week, the providers told the Associated Press in September.
‘Best opportunity in a generation’
Brent Leatherwood, interim president of the Southern Baptist Convention Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, said the case “represents the best opportunity in a generation to potentially overturn Roe vs. Wade.” The ERLC has filed an amicus brief in this case asking the justices to do just that.
Speaking in a special edition of the SBC This Week podcast, Leatherwood said it’s a time for the pro-life community to intercede in prayer for the justices of the Supreme Court as they hear the arguments.
“We need to be praying for the nine justices as they receive these arguments and, then, go back to their chambers and really start sussing through competing priorities,” he said.
Chelsea Sobolik, director of public policy for the ERLC, said this case is unique because it specifically deals with the viability of the unborn child in the womb.
“The Mississippi law says essentially after a child is viable at 15 weeks, elective abortion would be unconstitutional,” Sobolik said, adding that the law does make exceptions related to the health of the mother and if severe fetal abnormalities are discovered.
A decision in the case is not expected until June.