The Supreme Court appeared to uphold a Mississippi law that would ban virtually all abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, marking a dramatic turn from the previous 50 years of rulings.
A majority of the court’s justices indicated they were prepared to uphold the measure and discard the court’s previous standard that prevented states from implementing abortion bans before a fetus becomes viable — usually about 24 weeks into a pregnancy.
Several justices cautioned that the court would appear to be a political entity if it overturned a precedent that’s been in place for decades.
“It is particularly important to show that what we do in overturning a case is grounded in principle and not social pressure,” Justice Stephen Breyer said.
The conservative members of the bench suggested they were prepared to overturn Roe v. Wade because it was wrongly decided.
“Can’t a decision be overruled because it was wrong when it was decided?” Justice Samuel Alito asked.