Both sides of abortion rights say US Supreme Court hearing Roe vs Wade challenge could be momentus

The US Supreme Court has agreed to hear a challenge to the longstanding decision of Roe vs. Wade. It is the court's first major attempt to reconsider abortion rights since Justice Amy Coney Barrett replaced the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died in September.

"Sixty million babies have been killed through abortion in the United States alone in the last 48 years -it's time to stop this," said Genevieve Marnon.

Anti-abortion activists like Marnon with Right to Life Michigan is applauding the Supreme Court's decision to hear an abortion case out of Mississippi that could gut the 1973 decision legalizing abortion.

"I'm thrilled that they are going to finally after 48 years, potentially delve into the viability question with regard to Roe versus Wade - and give that power back to the states to make this decision," she said.

But states already have the ability to determine access to abortion. In Mississippi for example, where this new case originated, there is only one abortion provider available to women in the entire state.

The law there is now on its way to the US Supreme Court that prohibits abortions after 15 weeks.

"It would be a free for all at the state-by-state level and a number of states would likely go back to pre-Roe days and possibly even Michigan," said Lori Carpentier. "We have a 1931 law on the books that banned abortion and it's unclear if we would go right back there."

Carpentier is the president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Michigan. State law here bans abortion, but federal law says states cannot ban abortions before viability of the fetus - about 24 weeks.

"Roe is the thing that Michigan people rely on for access to abortion care, so it would certainly call that into question," she said.

Adding to concerns for abortion rights advocates - the new conservative majority on the US Supreme Court with recently confirmed justices Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett.

"Abortion doesn't disappear because of a supreme court decision," Carpentier said. "What happens is that it's less available, it's less safe, people do more drastic measures to end a pregnancy."

"As a pro-life advocate in Michigan we will be waiting with bated breath to see whether or not this will be the first time in 48 years we can finally get rid of Roe v Wade," Marnon said.

The US Supreme Court will hear the case next term - which begins in the fall with a decision likely in June of next year.