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Crime & Courts

The debate over the constitutionality of Mississippi abortion legislation

The U.S. Supreme Court.
The U.S. Supreme Court.

The attached audio is from SDPB's daily public-affairs show, In the Moment.

A South Dakota legal expert says Mississippi faces a tall hurdle with its challenge to the constitutionality of abortion.

The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

Mike Thompson is a criminal justice professor at the University of Sioux Falls. He says the case is a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade, which has protected the right to an abortion for almost five decades. He thinks it would be difficult to overturn.

“It's a pretty high burden to overrule a prior case, to suddenly decide that these prior cases were wrongfully decided when they've been a part of our jurisprudence for so long," Thompson said. "It's a very high bar to do that. I think the court could decide this case in Mississippi’s favor, without necessarily reversing that precedent.”

The justices will now deliberate and issue a decision at a later date.