Mississippi’s abortion “trigger” ban —which makes abortion illegal in the state except to save the life of the pregnant person, or in cases of rape or incest that have been reported to law enforcement—has been in effect since June 24, 2022.
In 2007, the Mississippi legislature passed an abortion “trigger” ban (Miss. Code Ann. § 41-41-45), designed to go into effect immediately if the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.
The Mississippi Attorney General certified the ban on June 27, 2022, three days after the U.S. Supreme Court eliminated the constitutional right to abortion. The Center for Reproductive Rights and its partners immediately filed a lawsuit challenging Mississippi’s ban at the Hinds County Chancery Court. The lawsuit also asked the court to block enforcement of Mississippi’s six-week abortion ban, which was passed in 2019.
The lawsuit argued that the two bans violate the Mississippi Constitution, which guarantees the right to abortion independent of the federal constitution. In 1998, the Mississippi Supreme Court affirmed the right to abortion under the state constitution in Pro-Choice Mississippi v. Fordice. The decision stated that “[n]o right is held more sacred . . . than the right of every individual to the possession and control of his own person,” “no aspect of life is more personal and private than those have to do with one’s own reproductive system,” and “the state constitutional right to privacy includes an implied right to choose whether or not to have an abortion.”
After a hearing on July 5, a Mississippi state court denied a request to block the ban from taking effect. Abortion services remain unavailable in the state. In July of 2022, this case was dismissed.
Center Attorneys: Hillary Schneller and Alice Wang
Co-Counsel/Cooperating Attorneys: Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, LLP and Mississippi Center for Justice
Plaintiffs: Jackson Women’s Health Organization, on behalf of itself and its patients, and Sacheen Carr-Ellis, M.D., M.P.H.
|June 24, 2022||The U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade and takes away the constitutional right to abortion. Mississippi’s trigger ban, which prohibits nearly all abortions in the state, immediately goes into effect.|
|June 27, 2022||The Center and its partners file a lawsuit challenging the trigger ban, as well as Mississippi’s six-week ban, at the Hinds County Chancery Court.|
|July 05, 2022||The court denies the request to block enforcement of its trigger ban, allowing it to remain in effect.|
|July 19, 2022||Plaintiffs move to dismiss case.|
- Complaint in Jackson Women’s Health et al. v. Dobbs, 6.27.22
- Petition for Interlocutory Appeal, or in the Alternative, for a Writ of Mandamus, and Request for Emergency Relief, 7.7.22
- Press Release: Lawsuit Filed to Block Mississippi Trigger Ban, 6.27.22