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Explainer: how does the MS abortion law affect Louisiana?

The Mississippi law being discussed is the first to challenge Roe v. Wade in nearly 3 decades

NEW ORLEANS — NEW ORLEANS - Arguments were heard Wednesday in what's believed to be the nation's most important abortion case. The Mississippi law being discussed is the first law to challenge Roe v. Wade in nearly three decades. However, what exactly is going on and how would it affect Louisiana once a ruling comes down?

The case is known as Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health, and depending on how the Supreme Court Rules, it could change abortion laws across the nation.

To get where we are today though, we need to go back to 1973. That was the year of Roe v. Wade, a landmark legal decision where the Supreme Court upheld the right to abortion. Part of their ruling made it so states couldn't ban abortions before a fetus was considered viable, around 24 weeks.

Now fast forward to 2018, when Mississippi passed a new law, the 'Gestational Age Act.' That challenges Roe v. Wade and bans most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

However, as soon as it passed, a court blocked it after its constitutionality was challenged. It then went to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which upheld the other court's ruling.

Last year though, Mississippi officials took it a step further, to the Supreme Court, who agreed to hear the case.

That brings us to Wednesday, where the high court's conservative majority heard from both sides. Those for it, say the law is meant to regulate "inhumane procedures." Those against it, say it's detrimental to women's health and if passed, it'd invite other states to possibly ban abortion.

That's because more than a dozen states, including Louisiana, have passed 'trigger bans' which means most abortions would be illegal if Roe v. Wade is overturned. And this case might do that.

So when will a final decision be made? Not anytime soon, a ruling could come as soon as July of next year.

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