By Esme Murphy

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The United States Supreme Court is back in session Monday, and the future of abortion rights could be at stake.

The court is set to hear oral arguments on a Mississippi law that bans abortions after 15 weeks.

After former President Donald Trump’s three appointments, the Supreme Court now has a conservative majority. Both sides agree that the ruling on the Mississippi case could potentially overturn Roe vs. Wade, the 1973 ruling that guaranteed a legal right to an abortion.

The high court’s session is being closely watched in Minnesota, where Planned Parenthood provides services not just to Minnesota, but also in North and South Dakota.

Minnesota Sen. Tina Smith is so concerned, she’s backing a proposal to expand the Supreme Court by four justices. She said it was the court’s ruling to allow the Texas abortion law to stand that convinced her she needed to support the measure.

(credit: Getty Images)

“I am deeply concerned about this. We have a Supreme Court which is going to be deciding whether the right of women, the choice of women to have control over their own reproductive systems is on the line,” Smith said.

Anti-abortion advocates in Minnesota, on the other hand, are cautiously optimistic. WCCO spoke Monday with Scott Fischbach, executive director of Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life.

“It is an exciting time,” Fischbach said. “The folks that we’re dealing with, I was just in South Dakota this weekend at their convention, biggest convention they’ve ever had, the Right to Life Convention, folks are already calling us about coming to the Jan. 22 march in St. Paul.”

The bill to add justices to the Supreme Court is considered a long shot to pass. Oral arguments in the Mississippi case are scheduled for December.

Esme Murphy