Mississippi is asking the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, two rulings that protected the right for women to have an abortion.
"Under the Constitution, may a State prohibit elective abortions before viability? Yes. Why? Because nothing in constitutional text, structure, history, or tradition supports a right to abortion," Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch wrote in the state's opening legal brief.
The Supreme Court agreed to take a case in the fall term concerning Mississippi's new law that bans abortions after 15 weeks. Currently, abortions are prohibited after a child is considered viable outside the womb, which is around 20 weeks.
"Scientific advances show that an unborn child has taken on the human form and features months before viability. States should be able to act on those developments. But Roe and Casey shackle States to a view of the facts that is decades out of date," Fitch wrote.
Pro-abortion groups slammed the legal brief, claiming that dozens of states could completely ban abortions if both cases are overturned.
"Let's be clear; any ruling in favor of Mississippi in this case overturns the core holding of Roe -- the right to make a decision about whether to continue a pregnancy before viability," Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, said. "The Court has held that the Constitution guarantees this right. If Roe falls, half the states in the country are poised to ban abortion entirely. "