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Supreme Court abortion challenge: assessing Wednesday's oral arguments

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Andrew Harnik/AP
Stephen Parlato of Boulder, Colorado, demonstrates his support for abortion rights outside the US Supreme Court in Washington on Nov. 30, 2021. He was among the first of many activists gathering at the Court ahead of Wednesday's oral arguments on a case that could overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnick)

This morning (December 1), the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a landmark case that could change access to legal abortions in the United States.

A law in Mississippi called the Gestational Age Act, passed in 2018,  prohibits a woman from having an abortion if she has been pregnant for more than 15 weeks.

The law was challenged by the only remaining place in Mississippi that provides abortions, a clinic in the state’s largest city, Jackson, called the Jackson Women’s Health Clinic.

If the court decides the Mississippi law is constitutional, the legal precedent established in the Court's 1973 ruling in the case of Roe v. Wade will be eliminated. Recent polls show that 70% of Americans support the right to an abortion guaranteed in Roe v Wade, but the current Court, with six conservative Justices and three liberal Justices, may decide to overturn that historic ruling. A decision in the case is expected by summer.

Joining Tom today with analysis and perspective is the legal scholar Kim Wehle, a law professor at the University of Baltimore School of Law, a former Assistant US Attorney, and the author of two excellent books, How to Read the Constitution-And Why, and What You Need to Know About Voting-And Why.  Wehle is also the host of the Instagram & YouTube show called #Simple Politics.

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Kim Wehle is a professor at the University of Baltimore School of Law, a popular legal commentator, and author of "How to Read the Constitution - and Why"

Kim Wehle joins us on our digital line from her office in Baltimore.

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