Groups on both sides of the abortion issue in Montana are closely watching a key case challenging Roe v Wade, which is currently under consideration by the U.S. Supreme Court.
The high court heard arguments for a Mississippi law that would ban abortions after 15 weeks. A lower court had earlier blocked that law. Both sides are talking about it, and the anti-abortion side held a rally Wednesday in Billings.
"Dobbs vs. Jackson Women's Health Organization," said Amy Seymour, president of the Yellowstone Valley Christians For Life, an anti-abortion group. "What that law does is it would make abortion illegal after 15 weeks when the tiny little fetus feels pain. So if that law gets decided on by the court to be able to stay in place that would really nullify Roe v. Wade."
The group held a prayer rally along with several others in the country.
"Our main tool in the toolbox is always prayer," Seymour said. "We have to rely on prayer because we can't change hearts and minds only God can do that."
And pro-choice groups are also closely watching. Planned Parenthood also sees this as a significant moment that could overturn the 1973 landmark ruling.
"It's a sad day for this country," said Laura Terrill, Planned Parenthood of Montana vice-president of external affairs. "About 50 years of court precedent are could be undone if the Supreme Court decides to support the Mississippi ban. And the reason why it's so sad is because every person in this country deserves the ability to make their own decisions about their bodies."
Terrill said a potential ruling in favor of the Mississippi law would set a different benchmark, "the most significant impact of this case is that states will be able to change their gestational bans to 15 weeks."
And if the Supreme Court rules that the Mississippi abortion law stands, they say abortion discussion and legislation would go to the states. Twenty-six states are expected to move to outlaw abortion in various ways by state constitutional amendments.
"And you know, although that doesn't mean that all states will, it means that they can and a majority of conservative states will certainly try," Terrill said.
Seymour added, "we have a Supreme Court that could decide to allow states to decide about abortion."